The Pirates have not scored since Saturday.
If that sounds bad ... well, that's how it looks, too.
The 2-0 loss to Atlanta Tuesday night at PNC Park marked a second consecutive shutout. The Braves Jair Jurrjens did the job in this one, Detroit's Rick Porcello did it Sunday, and the overall result was a streak of 19 scoreless innings, just eight hits, one for extra bases and a whole lot of yawns for the paying customers.
All concerned acknowledged the quality work of Jurrjens and Porcello, but manager Clint Hurdle appeared to have little use for excuses.
"Hey, this is the big leagues," Hurdle said. "You're going to have guys like that run at you every night."
The Pirates looked to be coming out of season-long offensive sluggishness by scoring five, five, 10 and six runs in a four-game winning streak that preceded this, but this followed. In 47 games overall, they have been held to three or fewer runs 23 times and are 3-20 in those games.
Jurrjens threw only three balls through his first three innings.
"I haven't seen that in a while," Hurdle said. "He fired quick, had a good rhythm, and it was coming out of his hand and down in the strike zone."
The offensive culprits have been many in these two games, to say the least, but Neil Walker's 0 for 8 has been conspicuous out of the cleanup spot. Still, do not expect significant lineup changes, given the quality of the pitchers faced in these two games.
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