Through the first 10 games of the regular season, the Pittsburgh Pirates offense has been anemic, scoring only 19 runs in those games.
On Tuesday night at Chase Field, those bats woke up in a big way, particularly in the “meat” of their lineup.
Pittsburgh roughed up Arizona ace Ian Kennedy and company to the tune of 13 hits, and went on to a 5-4 victory over the Diamondbacks.
The 3-4-5 hitters for Pittsburgh – Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker and Garrett Jones – were a combined 10-14, and accounted for all five runs.
Starter Ian Kennedy was tagged early and often, as the “Big Three” of the Pirates all got hits off him in the first inning, helping Pittsburgh take a 1-0 lead.
The Diamondbacks came back in the bottom half of the inning with two runs of their own.
Center fielder Chris Young hit a two-out double, and was brought home when catcher Miguel Montero followed with an RBI single. Right fielder Jason Kubel followed Montero’s RBI single with one of his own, to give Arizona a 2-1 lead after one inning.
The Pirates hitters stayed on Kennedy all night long, making him work for every out he got. Kennedy pitched six innings, gave up eight hits, four earned runs and had five strikeouts.
Needless to say, Kennedy wasn’t pleased with his performance.
“Everything was pretty bad,” Kennedy said. “I feel pretty disappointed that my team gave me, I think, enough runs to win, and I felt like I let them down.”
The Diamondbacks were already without right fielder Justin Upton, who was out of the starting lineup as a result of a jammed left thumb.
Manager Kirk Gibson listed Upton as day-to-day with a bone bruise in the thumb.
The Diamondbacks luck couldn’t have gotten any worse, when in the fourth inning, center fielder Chris Young made an incredible catch to rob Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez of an extra base hit.
Unfortunately, Young slammed into the wall in left center field, and had to be removed from the game with a right shoulder contusion.
Young’s status is day-to-day. He will undergo an MRI exam on Wednesday.
Young has total confidence in his team if he does happen to be out for an extended period of time.
“Everybody out there is fully capable,” Young said. “I think guys will be able to fill in just fine and be able to take over.”
This injury could not have come at a worse time for Young and the Diamondbacks. With Upton out, the outfield was already short-staffed, and now Young’s future is questionable as well.
Young was also swinging a hot bat this season, batting .410 with five home runs and 13 RBIs.
To make matters worse, Geoff Blum was put on the DL after pulling a side muscle in batting practice on Tuesday.
Gibson said the team will bring up A.J. Pollack from Triple-A Reno to help bolster a quickly depleted outfield.