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4/8 From The 80s On: Stellar Pitching, A-Ram Bombs, Free Baseball, Rally Time, Kiner Bronze, Hot-Rod Demons

Saturday, April 8, 2017 6:01
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(Before It's News)

  • 1984 – Rod Scurry checked into a 30-day drug rehabilitation program to battle his cocaine demons, returning to action on May 13th. He finished the year 5-6-4 with a 2.53 ERA, and the Pirates sold him a year later to the Yankees for New York’s September run.
Rod Scurry 1984 Donruss
  • 1991 – The Bucs were one-hit on Opening Day by the Expos Dennis Martinez and a couple of relievers at TRS as Doug Drabek and the defending division champs went down 7-0. Barry Bonds had the only knock, a seventh-inning single.
  • 1997 – The Pirates quieted the Padres 2-0 behind Steve Cooke‚ Rich Loiselle‚ and John Ericks. They teamed up to toss a one-hitter, a single off Cooke by Steve Finley. Tony Womack was the Buc batting hero, driving in a pair of eighth-inning runs with a double to beat Sean Bergman at Qualcomm Stadium. Ericks was a swingman who was injured later in the season and never pitched again.
  • 2001 – The Pirates whipped the Astros 9-3 at Enron Field behind the smokin’ bat of 3B Aramis Ramirez, who slammed three HRs and drove in six runs. Joe Beimel was the winning pitcher.
A-Ram had a couple of good days on this date – 2001 Uper Deck SP 
  • 2002 – Lloyd McClendon’s Pirates earned a 1-0 victory against the Reds in their home opener. Ron Villone, Mike Fetters, and Mike Williams combined on a four-hit shutout, running the Bucs season winning streak to five and breaking a nine-game home opener losing streak. The run was set up by Reds pitcher Elmer Dessens. With Brian Giles on second base, Dessens balked. Giles was awarded third base and scored on Aramis Ramirez’s sacrifice fly.
  • 2003 – The Bucs honored Hall of Famer slugger Ralph Kiner by unveiling a commemorative sculpture at their home opener. The bronze artwork is a bit oddball, showing just Kiner's hands gripping a Louisville Slugger bat. It’s in the left field rotunda near the Willie Stargell statue.
  • 2011 – The Bucs outlasted the Rockies 5-4 in a 14-inning, 5-hour, 11-minute overnighter when Jose Tabata doubled with two outs off Franklin Morales to score Josh Rodriguez. Rockies' manager Jim Tracy decided to work on JT rather than walk him, even though Pirate pitcher Garrett Olson was on deck and the Bucs didn't have any position players left to pinch-hit. The wily Clint Hurdle had Cutch swinging in the on-deck circle (he was the leadoff hitter) and some suspect a con job was being pulled. Still, the bullpen was the story of the game – six pitchers tossed 11-1/3 frames of six-hit shutout ball as starter Ross Ohlendorf only lasted three innings after giving up a three-run bomb to Jason Giambi in the opening round. The game was played in front of 29,192 at PNC Park; most had hit the gates for home before Tabata’s walk-off and had to read about the dramatic finish in the morning paper.
The Hit Man's first hit counted – 2012 Topps Chrome
  • 2012 – Down 4-1 to the Phillies in the seventh at PNC Park, the Bucs found their two-out mojo. The Bucs scored twice in the seventh with two away, tied it in the eighth on Matt Hague’s first MLB hit, a two-out knock, and won in the ninth on Cutch’s drive to center over Shane Victorino’s head with two gone, his third hit. Casey McGehee was the glue man, coming in late to go 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles, driving in one score and later touching home with the winning run.
  • 2016 – Down 5-2 in the eighth frame with two away and the bases empty, the Bucs parlayed a walk, hit batter and infield single into a game-winning inning. Starling Marte followed the small ball by banging JJ Hoover’s hung slider into the stands for his first MLB grand slam to rally the Bucs to a 6-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Neftali Feliz and Mark Melancon shut the door after that to give Ryan Vogelsong his first win as a Pirate since 2005 against the Cards.


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