PITTSBURGH -- You might recall the Pirates' loss Monday night in Colorado -- despite Pedro Alvarez's dramatic ninth-inning, game-tying, first-pitch home run coming out of a 52-minute rain delay -- being dubbed a case of "losing pretty." It was considered a potentially season-making moment -- and, indeed, the Bucs hadn't lost since entering Sunday's series finale with Miami.
Not to worry about mixed semantics, though. The Bucs stayed loyal big-time to the original concept of 'winning ugly' in Saturday's 5-1 win over the Marlins.
Pittsburgh triumphed, despite going 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position. The Pirates hadn't won a game going hitless in that many RISP opportunities since May 22, 2004, when they beat the Brewers at PNC Park, 3-1, while going 0-for-13.
Saturday night, the Pirates also managed five runs without a single run-scoring hit (they took advantage of two bases-loaded walks, and other runs scored on an error, infield grounder and sacrifice fly).
"That's why you go play the game," manager Clint Hurdle said. "So many things happen in this game that we wouldn't think of. Situations like last night don't happen very often. And other things have to take place to make it happen. You have to keep the other team from scoring, and you have to make integral defense plays."
A.J. Burnett mostly took care of the keep-from-scoring part, with hyper help from his defense.
"I had guys diving all over the place," Burnett said. "When you see them bust like that, it makes me go even harder."