Yes, it was only the first game of the year. And of course, there are still 161 games left in the season. But for one of the more anticipated season openers in recent Pirates history, this one had all the makings.
The Pirates were able to put it all together, albeit late, but just in time to come from behind and beat the Astros Monday night. The Pirates got a solid start from Zach Duke, excellent bullpen work from multiple arms, two clutch homeruns to tie the game in the eighth and ninth innings, and the go-ahead bomb off the bat of Jason Bay in the 10th.
Zach Duke pitched seven strong innings, allowing two runs on a Luke Scott homer in the fifth. Duke walked only one and allowed eight hits, throwing 80 pitches. Jonah Bayliss, Damaso Marte, Matt Capps and Salomon Torres combined for three shutout innings, with Torres picking up his first save of the season.
Jack Wilson and Jose Bautista each had two hits to lead the Bucs. Nate McLouth hammered a pinch-hit homerun off Roy Oswalt in his only at-bat. Otherwise, Oswalt was spectacular, twirling seven and two-thirds innings, allowing five hits, the lone run and striking out three.
Game Two: Ian Snell (0-0) vs. Jason Jennings (0-0), Tuesday 8:05p.m. -FSN-Pittsburgh
NL Central Action:
-Ben Sheets struck fear into the hearts of hitters across the NL Central monday, throwing a complete game, allowing only two hits
-Carlos Zambrano struggled and Aaron Harang was in 2006 form as the Reds beat the Cubs