Pirates lose to Phillies, 8-3
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PHILADELPHIA -- The good news for Jeff Karstens was that he appeared healthy.
The good news for the Pirates was that he worked his way through five innings, avoiding an extended night for the bullpen.
From there, the news worsened. Karstens allowed several hard-hit balls to the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Pirates' fielding miscues compounded the hits.
The Phillies seized control of the game from the start and won, 8-3, at Citizens Bank Park Monday night.
Karstens, making his first start since April 17 after two months on the disabled list because of shoulder inflammation, allowed seven runs, six earned, on 11 hits in five innings.
Karstens (0-2) started three games at the beginning of the season, but left his third start after an inning due to a sore shoulder. He was nearing a return to the rotation when he felt pain in his hip flexor, delaying his rehabilitation.
In his most recent rehab start, for Class AA Altoona June 19, he allowed one run on six hits in seven innings.
The Pirates threw the ball all over the yard in the first inning and allowed four runs on five hits. Jimmy Rollins doubled to right, then went to third on Juan Pierre's sacrifice bunt. Hunter Pence singled, and Rollins beat Jose Tabata's throw from right field to score.
The wheels came off when Carlos Ruiz singled. Tabata tried to throw out Pence at third, but the throw was not in time. Pedro Alvarez threw to second as Ruiz tried to advance, but the ball went into right field, allowing Pence to score. Tabata's throw home got past Barajas, allowing Ruiz to reach third.
Shane Victorino singled, scoring Ruiz, and Placido Polanco hit a check-swing single, poking a breaking ball into right field. Tabata's throw to third got past Alvarez and Victorino scored to put the Phillies ahead, 4-0.
Karstens struck out Ty Wigginton and Mike Fontenot to end the inning, but he needed 28 pitches to get through the first.
Rollins slid into Barajas' left leg when he scored, and Barajas limped after getting to his feet. A trainer visited Barajas, but he stayed in the game. When his turn in the order came up in the second, however, Michael McKenry pinch-hit for him and stayed in the game at catcher. He was initially diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left knee.
McKenry later took a foul ball off his free hand, but stayed in the game.
Karstens recovered nicely in the second, retiring the side in order on 10 pitches.
Tabata got a run back in the third, when he hit Phillies starter Joe Blanton's 1-0 cut fastball into the right-field seats for his third home run of the season.
The Phillies added another run in the third. Carlos Ruiz singled, stole second and went to third on Victorino's ground ball. Polanco's single scored him, increasing the Phillies' lead to 5-1.
Neil Walker led off the fourth with a double and just beat the throw home on Clint Barmes' single to cut the Phillies' lead to 5-2.
Rollins' two-run home run in the fourth extended the Phillies' lead to 7-2, but the Pirates kept hitting. Tabata reached second on a ground ball when Polanco threw the ball into the stands in the fifth, and Andrew McCutchen's single scored him.
McKenry hit a ball hard to left-center field with a man on in the sixth, and Pierre initially tracked it back near the warning track. McKenry hit the ball into the teeth of the wind, though, and Pierre had to rush in to make the catch as the wind knocked it down.
First Published June 25, 2012 10:09 pm