The Fish closed out their loooong series at PNC park Thursday night, and secured the series win, despite their historical woes in Pittsburgh, and despite the fact that it just ain't easy to win a four-game series.
Alex Sanabia made it look sorta easy, though. In fact, it was all about the starters through the first five innings as Sanabia--filling in for the injured Sean West--and Paul Maholm held their opponents scoreless.
In the top of the sixth, though, Maholm went swiftly downhill. Bonifacio (who was filling in at SS for the slumping Hanley) worked a lead-off walk. Boni moved to third when LoMo singled, and Gaby Sanchez kept the line moving and collected himself three RBI when he homered to center field to put the Marlins on the board, and on top, 3-0.
But the Fish weren't quite finished. With nobody out Dan Uggla singled, and after Mike Stanton grounded into a double play, Cody doubled, and Uncle Uncle Wes delivered a run on a single to left. Ronny Paulino was the next Fish to single, and then Maholm hit Sanabia with a pitch to load the bases. At that point Paul had officially overstayed his welcome on the mound, and the Pirates went to the bullpen. Sean Gallagher took over and struck out Boni to end the inning, but the Fish were up 4-0 after six.
Sanabia was outstanding as he held the Pirates scoreless until two outs into the eighth inning, when he gave up consecutive doubles to put them on the board. That was the end of the road for Alex, who gave up just one run on four hits and struck out five through 7 2/3. K-lay Hensley came on to get the last out of the inning.
Leo Nunez once again decided to make the ninth inning interesting, but instead of a lead-off walk, he gave up a lead-off home run to Andrew McCutchen that brought the Pirates within two. Then he gave up a one-out single to Neil Walker to bring the tying run to the plate. After Leo repeatedly shook off Paulino's sign for a fastball, the two had a bit of a conference on the mound. (I believe the conference consisted of Paulino barking, "shut up and do as I say.") So Leo conceded, went with the fastball, and struck out Garrett Jones and Pedro Alvarez to end the game, and give the series to the Fish.
So what was all that "the Fish can't win in Pittsburgh" business?