PITTSBURGH — The Pirates infield went from making genius plays to costing the team the game in the 10th inning Tuesday night in a 3-2 loss to San Francisco.
After Nate Schierholtz doubled to right field, Lyle Overbay threw him out at third base on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Darren Ford. Little did the Pirates know, Ford would eventually score the game-winning run.
Joel Hanrahan attempted to pick off Ford, a speedster, at first base, but the ball got past Overbay and in to foul territory. Ford advanced all the way to third and scored on a Freddy Sanchez ground out to second base.
Neil Walker fielded Sanchez’s grounder, looked Ford back at third, and threw to Overbay at first base for the out. Ford read Walker’s bluff and took off immediately as the ball was thrown, beating an errant throw by Overbay to the plate.
“I saw him, and he was stopped,” Walker said. “I made the play to first — I probably could have thrown the ball a little firmer, but that guy can run.”
“I didn’t go at first,” Ford said. “Not at first, but he just glanced at me. He didn’t stop me as an infielder — he didn’t stop me; he just glanced at me. And once he just glanced at me and then lobbed it over to first, I just took off and let my God-given talent just take over.”
The blunders cost the Pirates an otherwise sparkling night from starting pitcher Charlie Morton and the rest of the Pittsburgh bullpen. Morton pitched six innings, allowing just one run on four hits and striking out six.
“Tonight I feel like I did a decent job, but I definitely could have put them away in the seventh today if I was just aggressive and made some pitches,” Morton said. “But that’s a good team, and they do what they do.”
Chris Resop pitched a scoreless seventh inning and Evan Meek, Joe Beimel and Jose Veras combined to pitch the eighth, with Buster Posey driving in Ford on a sacrifice fly to tie the game, 2-2.
Garrett Jones homered to right-center field in the second inning for a 1-0 lead that held until the sixth inning. Aubrey Huff drove in Aaron Rowand in the sixth to tie the score, but the Pirates answered right back in the bottom half of the inning as Overbay singled in Matt Diaz.
Chris Gates | Bucs Blog