Zach Duke sets Pirates' record with 5 wins
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Zach Duke became only the second rookie in Pirates history to win his first five decisions as a starter, giving up more than one run for only the second time in his short career in pitching Pittsburgh past the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-4 on Saturday night.
Duke (5-0) gave up four runs and 10 hits in 7 1-3 innings, the first time he has allowed more than one run since giving up three in 7 2-3 innings in his July 2 debut against Milwaukee.
His ERA may have jumped from 0.92 to 1.54, but the 22-year-old is the first Pirates rookie since Whitey Glazner in 1921 to start 5-0. No Pirates rookie has been 6-0. Glazner went 14-5 that season, but finished 41-48 during a five-year career with the Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies and was 14-30 his final two seasons.
The Pirates certainly don't expect a reversal like that from the left-handed Duke, who is 17-3 this season with the Pirates and Triple-A Indianapolis. Not a hard thrower, he relies on a changeup he repeatedly throws down in the strike zone and an excellent breaking ball he used to strike out six -- including all three batters in the seventh. The four runs allowed were two more than in his previous five starts combined.
Duke wasn't the only rookie contributing to the Pirates' third victory in 11 games, two with Duke on the mound. Center fielder Chris Duffy had four hits for the second time in his 17 career starts, scored three runs and had an RBI, and first baseman Brad Eldred doubled in a run to help the Pirates bounce back from losses of 12-7 (San Diego) and 12-6 (Dodgers) the previous two days.
Last year's NL rookie of the year, Jason Bay, had the biggest hit while driving in three runs -- a two-run double after Freddy Sanchez's RBI single in a three-run second that put the Pirates up 4-1. Dodgers starter Odalis Perez (6-6) gave up nine hits and six runs -- five earned -- in six innings to lose for the first time in six starts.
Castillo also drove in two runs, adding an RBI single in the first, and Sanchez had a triple among his three hits and drove in a run.
Olmedo Saenz hit his career-high 12th homer of the season, and second in as many games, and drove in two runs, giving him eight in two games, but the Dodgers still dropped their ninth in 14 games. Saenz's RBI single in the first ended Duke's 14-inning scoreless streak in PNC Park.
Duke left to a standing ovation and cheers of "D-u-u-u-k-e" after giving up Saenz's solo homer, making it 8-4, and Mike Edwards' single in the eighth.
Despite making the worst of his seven career starts, Duke still ended a couple of Pirate streaks against the Dodgers, who had won seven in a row in PNC Park since 2002 and nine straight against Pittsburgh since 2003.
Since Duke beat Atlanta 4-1 on Monday, the Pirates had allowed 54 hits and 43 runs while dropping three of four at home. ... The sellout crowd of 38,579 was the third largest since PNC Park opened in 2001. The Pirates are 3-14 there against the Dodgers. ... Duke's 0.87 ERA in July was the lowest among all major league pitchers. ... Perez was 2-0 over his previous five starts. ... Duke has 35 strikeouts and 12 walks in 46 2-3 innings. Of his 111 pitches, 80 were for strikes.
Izturis ss5020Snchez 3b5231
Repko lf4100Duffy cf5341
Choi ph1000Bay lf5023
Brdley cf5220Eldred 1b5111
JKent 1b3010Castillo 2b4022
Saenz 3b5133Rstvich rf3000
Perez 2b3011Mckwk rf0000
Edwrds rf4010Cota c4000
Nvarro c4020JWilsn ss4221
OPerez p3000Duke p3000
Carrar p0000STorres p0000
Ledee ph1000Grabow p0000
WAlvrz p0000Doumit ph1110
E--Saenz 2 (2). DP--Los Angeles 2. LOB--Los Angeles 10, Pittsburgh 7. 2B--Bradley 2 (11), Bay (33), Eldred (4), Castillo (11), JWilson (15). 3B--Sanchez (3). HR--Saenz (12), JWilson (6). SB--Bay 2 (11), Castillo (1). SF--Perez.
Duke W,5-07 1-3104426
STorres pitched to 1 batter in the 8th. Umpires--Home, Doug Eddings; First, Bruce Dreckman; Second, Bill Hohn; Third, Gerry Davis. T--2:55. A--38,579.