The Pittsburgh Pirates looked to wrap up a very difficult road trip with a victory today against the Atlanta Braves. After winning the first game of the series on Friday, the Bucs fell last night after blowing a lead late in the game. Today, unfortunately, the bullpen let the team down once again, as the Braves scored four runs in the eighth and went on to win 5-1 in the rubber match.
Nick Kingham started today and he pitched well for Pittsburgh. He lasted five innings, and after giving up a leadoff homerun to begin the game, he held the Braves off the scoreboard for the rest of his outing. He ended up giving up one run on four hits with four strikeouts. Steven Brault took the loss today, giving up four runs (one earned) on four hits in 2.1 innings.
The Pirates scored the game’s first run today on a Colin Moran single that scored Gregory Polanco from second base. The Braves tied the game in the bottom of the first on a solo homerun by Ronald Acuna Jr. The game remained tied until the eighth inning, when Atlanta took advantage of some Pirates’ miscues and made them pay dearly.
Freddie Freeman reached on a fielding error by Kevin Newman, allowing Acuna Jr. to score to give the Braves a 2-1 lead. A single by Ozzie Albies made it 3-1, and after Brault was pulled from the game, a wild pitch by Dovydas Neverauskas allowed the Braves’ fourth run to score. An infield single by Dansby Swanson scored Atlanta’s fifth run, which would be more than enough to close things down in the ninth.
Things have really spiraled downward for the Pirates for the past couple weeks, and now with the recent trades and the roster expansion, we will see a lot of the younger players seeing more starts. This last month of the season will be difficult to watch for us Pirates fans, as we are now forced to once again begin talking about next year instead of this year’s postseason.
The Pirates will return home for a series against the Cincinnati Reds, kicking off tomorrow afternoon at PNC Park.
Record vs. Braves: 1-5
Record vs. N.L. East: 10-20
Record on the Road: 31-37
Overall Record: 66-71
Let’s Go Bucs!