After a thrilling series win in Cincinnati this week, the Pittsburgh Pirates transitioned to interleague play starting with a weekend series against the Kansas City Royals at PNC Park. The Bucs continued their solid play this month, taking the first game with a 4-2 win. The Bucs' lineup jumped on Royals' starter Luke Hochevar early and spotted Erik Bedard a three-run cushion. Bedard went seven strong innings, allowing just two runs on five hits. Jason Grilli and Joel Hanrahan came on to pitch two perfect innings of relief and finish off the Royals. Hanrahan looked strong, showing no effects from Thursday night's blown save in Cincinnati.
The offense struck quickly against Hochevar, drawing blood in the first inning on a Garrett Jones double to the gap in right center that scored Neil Walker. The Bucs added two more in a three-hit second inning. Rod Barajas led off the inning with a single and was quickly knocked in by hot-hitting Clint Barmes. After a sacrifice moved Barmes to third, Walker came through with a two-out single to make it 3-0. KC responded with a two-run rally in the next half inning, but that would be all for the Royals as Bedard settled in for the win.
The Bucs will try to take the series on Saturday with the ball in James McDonald's hands. Vin Mazzaro will toe the rubber for Ned Yost in the evening contest at PNC Park.
For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Royals, there's Royals Review.