Pirates sweep Rangers with 7-5 win

Share with others:

Print Email Read Later

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Had Clint Barmes been standing a couple of feet to his right, the Pirates might have had more than a two-run victory.

Then again, if Barmes' high fly ball had sailed a couple of feet left, the Pirates might not have left the Lone Star State with a sweep.

Barmes clanked a home run off the left-field foul pole in the eighth inning and drove in two runs Wednesday to help the Pirates beat the Texas Rangers, 7-5.

After getting swept in a three-game series in St. Louis, the Pirates (84-61) broke out their own set of brooms at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

"With it being this late in the season with what's going on, those three games could have added a lot of pressure to a lot of guys in this clubhouse," Barmes said.

"But I don't feel that. And I don't think, from what you've seen the last three days, that's coming from anybody in here, either."

Before his solo homer gave the Pirates a two-run lead in the eighth, he narrowly missed fielding a grounder that allowed two runs to score off Pirates starter A.J. Burnett in the sixth.

Barmes was shaded toward second -- at the direction of the Pirates' coaching staff as part of a defensive shift -- when Elvis Andrus ripped a grounder that glanced off his glove as he dived to his right.

Burnett snapped at Barmes after the play and pointed him away from second base.

"I was just as mad if not more mad that I wasn't in that spot," Barmes said. "There were no issues there.

"Those are two competitors [angry] that two runs scored."

Burnett said he and Barmes were laughing with each other after the game.

"There's nothing wrong with Barmey," Burnett said. "Barmey loves me, and I love him.

"'I just moved him over a couple feet after the base hit. That had nothing to do with Clint Barmes. That's not on Clint. That's where they tell him to play.

"The pitch came over the middle, so it's my fault, too. It's just two guys that want to win really bad."

The hit spoiled what had been an otherwise spotless outing from Burnett, who was perfect through 41/3 innings but ended up allowing five earned runs on six hits in 61/3.

He said his curveball was sharp early but lost its effectiveness later.

"I started to lose it toward the end," he said.

"My arm started dragging a little bit."

He struck out seven, including five of the first six batters he faced, to pick up his eighth win and help the Pirates improve to 15-5 in interleague play. They are 8-0 on the road against the American League West Division this season.

It was the Pirates' first sweep since they took three from the Miami Marlins Aug. 6-8 at PNC Park and their first road sweep since beating the Seattle Mariners June 25 and 26.

Barmes finished 1 for 3 with two RBIs and a walk, and Justin Morneau broke an 0-for-15 slump with a 4-for-5 outing. He scored twice and hit a third-inning double.

Kyle Farnsworth, signed a month ago as a minor league free agent, picked up the save in place of Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli, both unavailable after recent work. It was Farnsworth's first save since Sept. 20, 2011, when pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Pirates' offense chased Texas starter Matt Garza after just four innings. Garza, traded from the Chicago Cubs to the Rangers in July, allowed three earned runs and five hits. He was inefficient, walking four batters and throwing 89 pitches.

"We didn't come in here with sweep on our mind," manager Clint Hurdle said. "We came in thinking win the first game. Then, we had the second game.

"But to go on the road and to beat [Yu] Darvish, to beat [Martin] Perez and to beat Garza, that's a tall order.

"We pulled it off. It was a collective effort."

The Pirates marched to a 4-0 lead before the Rangers (81-64) scored twice in the sixth. The Pirates added two runs in the seventh.

Texas scored three runs in the seventh to pull within one, setting up Barmes' eighth-inning home run, his fifth this season.

"I was definitely excited to see that stay fair," he said.

mobilehome - homepage - breaking - pirates

Michael Sanserino: msanserino@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1722 and Twitter @msanserino.


You have 2 remaining free articles this month

Try unlimited digital access

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here

You’ve reached the limit of free articles this month.

To continue unlimited reading

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here