Ross Ohlendorf lasted only 3 2/3 innings in tonight’s 7-0 loss against the Braves. The right-hander allowed six runs on seven hits, walked three and struck out three.
“He didn’t have much tonight,” manager John Russell said. “His fastball didn’t have much life, the sinker wasn’t moving much, his slider was more of a slurve than anything. Just one of those nights when he didn’t have much on the ball.”
Ohlendorf has gone 0-2 and pitched a total of 13 2/3 innings in three starts since coming off the disabled list 12 days ago. He said his lower back, which locked up in early April a few days after his first start, is fine.
“Physically, I feel great,” Ohlendorf said. “I’m just not as strong with my location as I need to be. I really need to go deeper into games.”
It was Ohlendorf’s shortest outing as a starter since Sept. 15, 2008, when he lasted three innings against Los Angeles. That was his third game with the Pirates, and at the time Ohlendorf was being stretched out after working as a reliever.
– The Pirates did not put up much of a fight against Tim Hudson (5-1), who won his fourth straight decision. The right-hander faced just three batters in four of his eight innings. Hudson allowed three hits, all singles. Only three runners made it as far as second base.
“He’s a great ground ball pitcher,” said Ryan Church, who went 0 for 4. “You’ve got to hunt the ball up because he’s got such great movement on his pitches. Some of those balls you think are up, they drop. It’s just that slight movement late that gets you. It’s frustrating, but you’ve got to tip your cap to him.”
– Bryan Morris’ debut for Double-A Altoona tonight went well. The righty worked 5 1/3 innings, allowed one run on three hits and struck out seven.
– Rookie of the year? It’s already looking that way for Braves outfielder Jason Heyward. About three weeks ago, Braves manager Bobby Cox told Jason Heyward he needed to be more aggressive at the plate. In 18 games since, Heyward is hitting .367 with five homers and 17 RBI. Tonight, he went 3 for 4 with three RBI. He would have had four hits, if not for a fine diving catch by Andrew McCutchen in the sixth inning.
– Cox, who will retire after this season, is 120-90 against the Pirates — a .571 winning percentage.