Pirates Chalk Up 90th Defeat
Price, Karen, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Ross Ohlendorf earned a no-decision in what will likely be his last appearance on the mound for the Pirates this season.
The 27-year-old righthander pitched seven innings against the San Diego Padres at PNC Park on Saturday, allowing one run and five hits. He struck out five and walked one. He threw 94 pitches, 60 for strikes.
But Phil Dumatrait loaded the bases in a tie game in the ninth, and Denny Bautista served up the sacrifice fly that gave the Padres a 2-1 win.
"You can't make errors, and you can't walk people in the ninth inning," Pirates manager John Russell said. "It's always going to come back to haunt you."
Dumatrait, who followed a three-up, three-down inning from Steven Jackson in the eighth, got the first out. But an error by second baseman Brian Bixler kicked off the downward spiral that would lead to loss No. 90 for the Pirates.
It was only the 64th error of the season for the Pirates, the fewest in the majors, but it led to a runner on base for the first time since the sixth inning. Dumatrait walked the next two batters to load the bases heading into the bottom of the order, and was then done for the day.
But Bautista didn't do any better. He got behind in the count to Henry Blanco, and on the third pitch the catcher hit the ball deep to center field to allow Chase Headley to score for a 2-1 lead.
Pinch-hitter Brandon Moss singled with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but Neil Walker flied out deep to right field to end the game.
The Pirates were looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since Aug. 21-22 against the Cincinnati Reds. The Bucs are 10 losses shy of 100 with 16 games left.
Ohlendorf's first seven innings were as solid as the Pirates could hope for, although it may be the last time Ohlendorf pitches this year. Russell said after the game that they'd evaluate the situation in the next day or two, but with Ohlendorf at 1762/3 innings, it's unlikely he'll see another start. …