Life After Littlefield: Pirates take 2 of 3 from Arizona after learning how to hit again.

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Jarrod Blumer, Contributor

After an embarrassing showing in Hollywood over the weekend, the Pirates went into Arizona with hopes of being able to put up a fight this week.  And that is just what they did as they won the first 2 games of the series before imploding in the series finale.

Monday featured Wandy going up against Arizona’s Trevor Cahill.  The Bucs got to Cahill early as they put 3 runs up in the first with the help of a McCutchen RBI double and a Travis Snider 2-run single.  Arizona answered in the 2nd with a run off Wandy before he left in the 3rd due to tightness in his hamstring. This could potentially ruin any chance the Pirates have of finishing with a decent April record. But I’ll talk more about that later.  Newly acquired Jeanmar Gomez took over and allowed 2 runs to score bringing it to 3-3 after 3.  The Pirates regained the lead in the 5th and didn’t give it up.  Reliever Justin Wilson was electric in his 3 innings of work following Gomez, touching the upper-90s with his fastball.  Another run in the 8th on a Garrett Jones solo homerun was all the Pirates needed as Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli closed the door in the 8th and 9th. Final score 5-3

Tuesday’s game started like the previous one with the Pirates jumping on Arizona early with a first inning run on an RBI single by Garrett Jones that scored Starling Marte, who has been white-hot at the top of the lineup of late.  However James McDonald looked like the 2nd half James McDonald of last season. Walks and extra-base hits lead to a 4-run inning for the Diamondbacks.  But somehow McDonald found his game after that, as he put up 5 scoreless innings following that to earn the win. A 5-run 5th inning for the Pirates was lead by a 2-run double for Starling Marte, a 2-run single by Neil Walker and was capped off by an RBI single by Garrett Jones.  Watson, Hughes, Melancon, and Grilli finished off another game in stellar performance giving the Bucs their 2nd win in a row.  Look for those 4 guys to anchor the pen all year. Final score 6-5.

The best way to describe Wednesday’s game is disastrous.  Jonathan Sanchez made his second start of the season and looked dreadful to say the least. A 3-run 1st inning followed by a 3-run second inning made for a short day for Sanchez as he lasted just 3 and a third innings against Arizona.  His replacement wasn’t much better as Chris Leroux came in and wouldn’t have been able to find the strike zone if he was given a compass.  He threw 48 pitches and only 24 went for strikes.  As you probably figured he was touched up for another run bringing the score to 10-1.  The Pirates got a run somehow in the 4th on a single by Josh Harrison.  They also scored another run in the 7th, but the game had been over for over an hour at that point.  Final score 10-2.

The Pirates head home tonight to take on the Cincinnati Reds.  AJ Burnett takes the hill in search of his first win.  First pitch at 7:05 PM.