Finally, Barajas goes deep



Rod Barajas heard the boos when he fouled out to start the eighth inning. He knew folks at PNC Park were honked off at him — not only for the 0 for 3 he was carrying at that point, but for his whole, miserable first few weeks of the season. There were more groans in the ninth inning when Barajas — who at that point was batting .126 — stepped to the plate with the Pirates down a run, a runner on third and two outs. “It’s not what you want,” Barajas said. “Nobody wants to hear that from your own fans. If they’re booing you, that means you’re struggling. I’d love to be doing better. I’m going to work and try to improve. I was in a situation to put them on my side if I came through at the plate.”

He did. Barajas cracked a two-run, walkoff homer to cap the wild, 5-4 victory. “Hopefully, now (the fans) will give me a little more leeway and I’ll have another couple of weeks to try to get things going in the right direction.”

Manager Clint Hurdle said he began to see a turnaround in Barajas during early work in the cage on Sunday. “That’s what I’m betting on,” Barajas said. “Even though (the homer) is the only hit I had today, I feel like I’m close. The swing is there. Now it’s just a matter of swinging at balls in the strike zone. I kind of went out of the strike zone in my first three at-bats. Once I get a little more patient … I think I’ll be OK.”