didn't give his offense a chance to turn another big ninth inning during the Indians-Pirates interleague series into a potentially
allowed one run in six innings,
drove in three runs and the Pirates didn't wait to get into Cleveland's slumping bullpen to start scoring, roughing up the
struggling Pavano during a 10-6 victory over the Indians on Wednesday night.
The Pirates ended a five-game losing streak by scoring three runs in the second and six in the fourth. They finished with
14 hits against five pitchers, leading 10-1 before Cleveland scored five runs with two out in the ninth on
's two-run homer and
's three-run shot against
The night before, the Pirates trailed 5-0 going into the ninth, only to score four times and load the bases before LaRoche's
fly ball out on a 3-2 pitch ended Cleveland's 5-4 victory. Cleveland's bullpen went into Wednesday's game with an 0-4 record
and 8.78 ERA in its previous seven games.
Pavano wondered what would have happened if he had gotten out of the fourth, when he quickly retired the first two batters
only to have the final five hitters he faced reach base.
''Those five runs put us in a huge deficit,'' said Pavano, pitching for the first time in ninth days because of right shoulder
discomfort. ''We ended up scoring six. That's not what you want to do. You want to pick your guys up, not let it unfold like
Or unravel like the Indians' season appears to be doing.
They lost their seventh in eighth games as Pavano (6-6) gave up 11 hits and eight runs, three earned, in 3 2-3 innings. Pavano
appeared to be on his way to a good season after winning six of seven decisions from May 1-June 5, but he has a 12.15 ERA
in his last three starts.
''I thought my ball was a little flat, and when it flattens out like that, those are the kind of games I get - a lot of contact
and a lot of balls down the lines and in the holes,'' Pavano said.
Pavano's ERA climbed to 5.80, even though shortstop
's throwing error on
's grounder meant the Pirates' final five runs in the fourth were unearned.
''He was over the plate a little more than he would like,'' manager
said. ''He wasn't able to clip both sides of the plate like he does when he's going good.''
The Pirates also had four consecutive hits against Pavano in the second, including
's two-run single. McCutchen has a 12-game hitting streak, the longest by a rookie this season.
''Good things are happening right now, and hopefully I can keep having good at-bats,'' said McCutchen, who is hitting .322.
LaRoche contributed a two-run single in the fourth and a solo homer in the sixth.
finished off the fourth with a two-run drive off reliever
Duke (8-5) was efficient and effective, again pitching much better at home than he does on the road. The left-hander gave
up five hits and one run in six innings to improve to 6-2 in PNC Park, where he has gained his last five victories. He is
2-3 on the road.
Another win or two before the break, and Duke might find himself in St. Louis as the Pirates' All-Star representative.
''If it happens it would be great, but I'm not going to judge my season based on that,'' Duke said. ''If the opportunity came,
it would be a great honor.''
No doubt Duke appreciated the unaccustomed run support; the Pirates scored a combined four runs in his five losses.
The left-hander also kept the ball in the park after yielding six homers in three starts, allowing only one extra base hit
's double to start the game.
NOTES: The Indians have 17 of their top 19 draft picks under contract. ... Cleveland sent RHP
outright to Triple-A Columbus. ... Pirates top prospect Pedro Alvarez, the No. 2 pick in the June 2008 draft, hit his first
homer for Double-A Altoona on Wednesday, his second game with the Curve. ... Cleveland is 4-10 in interleague play, Pittsburgh