Dumatrait stymies former team in Pirates' 7-2 rout
Share with others:
CINCINNATI -- The Pirates came up with two novel solutions for their starting pitching problem:
1. Score a ton.
2. Pitch better.
That formula, half of which involved a 13-hit outburst, the other half a solid seven-inning start from Phil Dumatrait -- one unearned run, two hits and nine strikeouts over seven innings -- combined to carve up Cincinnati, 7-2, tonight at Great American Ball Park and avoid a three-game sweep.
And each half was special in its own way ...
Six of their runs, along with six doubles and a two-run home run by Jason Bay, came off Aaron Harang, one of the National League's elite pitchers. He was chased, stunningly, after four innings for what was, by far, his worst outing of the season.
Dumatrait's end of the equation came with a twist, too: He shut down the team that released him after he went 0-4 with a 15.00 ERA last season.
It probably was no mystery which of the two manager John Russell enjoyed most, given that Ian Snell and Tom Gorzelanny each had short outings in the first two games of the series.
"Obviously, it would be nice to get a good start," Russell said beforehand. "I think it would settle a lot of people down, maybe get everyone to perform the way they should. It's not that the starters aren't trying. They are. They might be trying too hard. They just need to relax and do what they're capable of."
"It's something we hope happens sooner rather than later."
The Pirates now are 5-1 in Dumatrait's six starts.
The Pirates struck first on Jack Wilson's RBI double in the first, and Cincinnati countered in the bottom half with the unearned run. Dumatrait got Brandon Phillips to bounce into what would have been an inning-ending double play, but second baseman Freddy Sanchez's errant throw went into the camera well and allowed Jerry Hairston to score.
The suspension ended soon thereafter.
The Pirates pounded Harang for five more doubles, two by Jason Michaels, and Bay made it 6-1 in the fourth with his 398-foot drive beyond center field. It was his 13th home run, matching Nate McLouth for the team lead.
Harang had been 11-3 in his career against the Pirates.
If Zach Duke wins tomorrow night in St. Louis, it will mark only the fourth occasion all season for the Pirates' starters to record victories on consecutive days.
First Published May 29, 2008 9:50 pm