The Pirates' skid was extended to five in a row Wednesday as the Bucs lost a squeaker 1-0 in 10 innings to the San Francisco Giants. Zach Duke pitched seven shutout innings but the Giants' Matt Cain shut down the offense, which managed only three hits. The teams went to extra innings in a scoreless tie, and Matt Capps (2-6) allowed the winning run in the bottom of the 10th. Duke pitched seven innings, giving up six hits, walking one and striking out one.
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The Pirates broke their losing skid with a 5-4 win over the Washington Nationals on Friday. Steve Pearce hit his first homer of the season and Lastings Milledge had a solid debut for the Bucs. Ross Ohlendorf (9-8) pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up six hits, two earned runs, a homer, walking two and striking out four. Matt Capps pitched an inning for his 21st save.
The Bucs took batting practice against the Nationals on Saturday, and the big bat was wielded by Andrew McCutcheon, who slammed three home runs, finishing with four hits, four runs and six RBIs. Virgil Vasquez (2-5) tossed five innings to pick up the win, giving up nine hits, three earned runs, walking two and striking out two.
Pirates starter Paul Maholm ran out of steam of Sunday, and the Bucs lost 5-3 to the Nationals. Recently acquired Ronny Cedeno was impressive on defense and hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the third. Maholm (6-6) took the loss, pitching 6 1/3 innings and giving up seven hits, four earned runs, one homer, walking two and striking out three.
The Pirates had another loss against the Nationals on Monday, falling 8-4 after jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first with the help of a leadoff homer by Andrew McCutcheon. Charlie Morton (2-4) held the Nationals to just two hits over the first five innings, but they hit back for four in the sixth and then four in the seventh off Jeff Karstens. Morton pitched six innings, giving up four hits, four earned runs, one home run, walking two and striking out two.
The Pirates continued their slide on Tuesday with a 6-0 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ronny Cedeno broke up Yusmeiro Petit's no-hitter in the bottom of the eighth with a single, but that was it for the Bucs. Zach Duke (9-10) took the loss, pitching five innings, giving up nine hits, five earned runs, three homers, walking two and striking out one.