After an impressive weekend series against the Detroit Tigers, the Pittsburgh Pirates returned to action in the senior circuit on Monday in Philadelphia. The Phillies were coming off a doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Rays on Sunday and got a solid outing from Joe Blanton to take the first game, 8-3.
In his first action since April, Bucs' starter Jeff Karstens gave up four earned runs in a first inning that included several Pirates fielding miscues. Karstens wore on for five innings, giving up six earned runs on 11 hits. Five of those hits came in a disastrous first inning that was compounded by three Pirates' throwing errors. The Phils would never look back.
Joe Tabata launched his third homer of the season in the top of the fourth but each time the Bucs' scored a run, Philadelphia would answer to keep their comfortable cushion. And Blanton struck out eight Pirates while giving up just two earned runs in seven innings of work.
Erik Bedard will take the hill in Game 2 on Tuesday night and will be opposed by Vance Worley.