Pirates 6 – Red Sox 4
W: Jeff Karstens (5-4)
L: Tim Wakefield (4-3)
S: Joel Hanrahan (22)
Lyle Overbay hit a 3-run homer and the Pittsburgh Pirates kept up their winning ways, defeating the Boston Red Sox 6-4 on Saturday night at PNC Park.
The Pirates who are suddenly the surprise of Major League Baseball, can sweep the Red Sox with a victory Sunday afternoon.
“We’re playing good baseball, ” second baseman Neil Walker said. “We have to remember this is just one series. These are two very big wins.”
Jeff Karstens (5-4) pitched effectively into the seventh inning as the Pirates tied a season-high by posting their fourth straight victory to move two games above .500 at 39-37.
Karstens is 3-0 in Interleague play with a 3.08 ERA
Joel Hanrahan pitched the ninth for his 22nd save, with the largest crowd in PNC Park history erupting after the final out.
Overbay who has 13 career home runs against the Red Sox, is 3-for-7 in the series after getting benched earlier in the week.
Ronny Cedeno added 2 hits and Andrew McCutchen went 1-4 with an RBI and a stolen base.
“They’ve basically out played us. That’s pretty much it, ” Red Sox infielder Dustin Pedroia said.
Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Reddick and Jacoby Ellsbury all hit solo home runs for the Red Sox.
Wakefield (4-3), making his first start in Pittsburgh in 18 years, gave up five runs on seven hits in six innings, walking four and striking out two.
Pirates answer Red Sox in the 7th
The Red Sox scored twice in the 7th to cut the Priates lead 5-4 but the Pirates answered with a Garrett Jones solo homer to right center, pushing the Pirates lead to 6-4 in the 7th. It was Jones 8th homer of the season.
Karstens delievers on the mound and at the plate
Jeff Karstens (5-4, 2.66) gave the Pirates yet another quality start, allowing 6 hits and 4 runs in 6 2/3 innings pitched (109 pitches).
“Karstens gave us a big start, ” manager Clint Hurdle said.
While Karstens pitched effectively, he made also his mark at the plate, driving in Ronny Cedeno on a single to center in the 4th to give the Pirates a 4-2 lead.
It was Kastens first career RBI.
“I just see it and hit it, ” Karstens said with a chuckle.
Karstens threw a season high 109 pitched. “We really had to grind, ” Karstens said.
Hanrahan lights out
The bullpen pitched 2 1/3 shutout innings and the night was headlined by Joel Hanrahan’s striking out Adrian Gonzalez with a beautiful slider on the back foot for the final out of the game.
Hanrahan who is 22-for-22 in save opportunities, needed 24 pitches to close out the Sox and fooled the best hitter in baseball, after throwing 23 straight fastballs.
Dustin Pedroia’s two-out double in the 9th was the first baseruner Hanrahan allowed in his last nine save opportunities.
Reliever Daniel Moskos is making his mark on the team and with a runner on second, Moskos got Adrian Gonzalez to ground out to Neil Walker for the final out in the 7th inning.
It was a pivotal out as the Sox put up two runs in the inning and the Pirates showed the ability to close tonight.
Overbay’s power a welcomed addition
Lyle Overbay’s 3-run homer in the 4th inning to give the Pirates a 3-2 lead was a turning point in the game and something manager Clint Hurdle has been looking for from Overbay who was benched this week.
Well timed, ” Hurdle said. “That’s what we’ve been planning to get from Lyle and last two nights is hitting the ball really crisped. That’s a welcomed addition to our ballclub.”
d”Arnaud looking comfortable at third base
Chase d”Arnaud was 1-for-5 at the plate with a run scored but it’s his ability at third base that has caught some eyes as he looks extremely comfortable there.
“He played third base in college, ” Hurdle said. “Not like you forget how to play third base. He also played third base in spring training, ” Hurdle said pertaining to that people shouldn’t be surprise by his ability there.
“Very athletic young man. He’s very instincitve over there.”
Largest Crowd Ever
The crowd of 39,483 had the feel of a playoff atmosphere and was the largest Pirates crowd ever at PNC Park. “Big ballgame, good one, another packed house, ” Hurdle said. “Summer time, it’s a great feeling out there right now. We’re playing with a lot of energy. Like their six in the backyard.”
Red Sox woes with RISP
A stunning stat through the first two games of the series: The Red Sox are 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position.
Bos: 3rd Gonzalez homered to left. (2-0 BOS)
PIT: 4th Overbay homered to right, McCutchen & Walker scored. (3-2 PIT)
PIT: 4th Karstens singled to center, Cedeno scored. (4-2 PIT)
PIT: 5th McCutchen safe at second on error by second baseman Pedroia… D’Arnaud scored. (5-2 PIT)
Bos: 7th Reddick homered to right center. (5-3 PIT)
BOS: 7th Ellsbury homered to right center. (5-4 PIT)
PIT: 7th Jones homered to right center. (6-4 PIT)