The Pittsburgh Pirates hosted the defending National West champions yesterday, and did what they’ve done for the past 3 Opening Days: win.
That’s right. The Pirates have at least one streak that has nothing to do with losing.
The Pirates wrung 5 decent innings out of Zach Duke, and made the wise decision to pinch-hit for him with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 5th. Duke had allowed just 2 runs, but his 7 hits were pause for concern. And with Pittsburgh having a 1-run lead and an opportunity for a big inning, manager John Russell made the call.
Ryan Church hit a bases-clearing double off Vicente Padilla to break the game open.
Right-fielder Garret Jones also homered twice for the Pirates, showing that he may just be more than a one-hit wonder.
And for one day, the Pirates sit atop the division, looking down on everyone else.