The Pirates started the week on a down note, dropping the rubber game of their three-game set with the Chicago Cubs 4-1 on Wednesday. Virgil Vasquez (1-1) made just two mistakes, allowing homers in the first and sixth innings, but with the Bucs' bats held in check, those mistakes led to a loss. Brandon Moss's RBI single in the bottom of the first gave the Pirates their only run. Vasquez pitched six innings, giving up seven hits, three earned runs, walked three and struck out two.
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The Bucs lost a close one, 9-8, to the New York Mets on Thursday. Adam LaRoche hit a game-tying two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth inning off Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez, but it wasn't enough to help the Pirates. Paul Maholm was staked to an early five-run lead, but the Mets chipped away and Matt Capps (1-4) took the loss for giving up the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th.
The Pirates opened a three-game series on Friday against the Florida Marlins with a 7-4 win. Charlie Morton (1-1) waited out a pair of rain delays on the way to pitching six scoreless innings. Brandon Moss and Ramon Vazquez both homored. Morton gave up one hit in six innings, walking four and striking out four on the way to his first win as a Pirate.
The Marlins came back on Saturday, winning 5-3 over the Bucs. Zach Duke (8-7) hurt himself with a bases-loaded wild pitch in the sixth inning. The Bucs nearly came back an inning later and Garrett Jones had a solo shot, too, but it just wasn't enough. Duke pitched six innings, giving up eight hits, four earned runs, walking three, striking out five and giving up a home run.
The Pirates were shut out in the rubber game of the Marlins series 5-0 on Sunday. The Bucs managed just three hits off Marlins pitcher Ricky Nolasco while Pirates' starter Ross Ohlendorf (7-7) failed to keep pace with his Marlins opponent. He pitched five innings, yielding nine hits, five runs, walking one and striking out three.
The Bucs lost their third straight Monday, a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Houston Astros. The Pirates managed just four hits and Robinson Diaz's RBI single in the seventh was the only damage inflicted on the Astros. The lack of run support left Virgil Vasquez (1-2) with the defeat after pitching six innings, giving up seven hits, four earned runs, three walks and two strikeouts.
The Pirates broke their three-game losing streak Tuesday with a win over the Astros 6-3. The Bucs drew three straight walks to start the top of the seventh, and made the Astros pay with three straight singles after an error to plate four runs. Starting pitcher Paul Maholm (6-4) notched the win after pitching six innings, giving up six hits, two earned runs, walking two and striking out two. Matt Capps closed the door with a hitless ninth inning for his 19th save.
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