Bedard bunts, wins


ATLANTA — Lefty Erik Bedard last night picked up his first victory since Sept. 13, 2011, when he was hurling for the Red Sox. He also dropped down his first sacrifice bunt of the season and just the second of his nine-year career. The first one came in an interleague game May 20, 2007, when Bedard pitched for the Orioles against the Nationals. Overall, the Pirates racked up 14 strikeouts, including nine by Bedard. It was the team’s most Ks in a nine-inning game since June 26, 2005, when the Pirates got 15 whiffs against the Reds.

»»» This stat continues to blow me away, in a couple different ways: the Pirates are 9-2 when the score more than one run. So, if they push across more than one stinkin’ run, the Pirates have a great chance to win any game. But so far, coming up with a pair of runs has been akin to climbing Mt. Everest without oxygen — possible, but incredibly tedious and still rare enough to be a thrill when it happens. As for scoring, say, a half-dozen or more runs in a game … well, the Chinese might put a man on the moon (they’re making plans!) before that kind of Buccos scoring spree happens.

»»» Pedro Alvarez has nine hits this season. Seven of them have gone for extra-bases (four homers, three doubles). The RBI double Alvarez collected in the fifth inning last night was clobbered about as well as possible without sending the ball out of the yard. He smoked it.

»»» Larry Stone of the Seattle Times chatted with former Milwaukee Braves infielder Johnny O’Brien, who reminisced about his up-close view of Harvey Haddix’s perfect game that wasn’t, back in 1959.

»»» Braves shortstop Tyler Pastornicky has done well against Pirates pitching, going 3 for 7 with a walk, one RBI and a run scored. Over his past four games, the rookie is 7 for 13, including a pair of multi-hit games.

»»» Having trouble finding my blog on the redesigned (and still under construction) TribLive website? You’re not alone. For the time being, don’t look for a link on the Pirates-specific page of the site. Instead, look for the link under the Pirates section on the general sports page.

Game 21: Pirates @ Braves, 1:35 p.m. ET

Pirates (9-10): 1. Alex Presley lf, 2. Jose Tabata rf, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Garrett Jones rf, 5. Neil Walker 2b, 6. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 7. Clint Barmes ss, 8. Michael McKenry c, 9. Kevin Correia rhp (1-0, 2.00)

Braves (13-8): 1. Michael Bourn cf, 2. Martin Prado lf, 3. Freddie Freeman 1b, 4. Brian McCann c, 5. Dan Uggla 2b, 6. Chipper Jones 3b, 7. Jason Heyward rf, 8. Tyler Pastornicky ss, 9. Tim Hudson rho (season debut)