Tonight, marked the beginning of the final month to the 2018 season. This also meant rosters were expanded and calls to the bullpen would be at an all time high. For the Pittsburgh Pirates it meant an opportunity for minor league players to gain Major League experience and for the organization to see what they have in the system. Pittsburgh led for much of the game, but the Atlanta Braves rallied late to earn a 5-3 victory.
Chris Archer had what could have been his best game in a Pirates uniform tonight and it went for naught. Archer worked six innings and allowed one run on two hits with five strikeouts and just one walk. He was replaced in the seventh by Richard Rodriguez who would strike out all three batters that he faced.
The game was tied 0-0 in the fifth when Starling Marte put the Buccos on the board with a two-run double to deep right field. Pittsburgh would tack on one more run in the sixth on a Gregory Polanco solo home run to deep center. At the time it looked like that was all Pittsburgh would need, but they play nine innings for a reason.
Keone Kela entered the game in the eighth and was hit hard from the start. He would allow four runs on three hits with just one strikeout. Kela was missing his spots badly tonight and it was a key reason for the poor outing. He was replaced by Kyle Crick. Crick collected the final two outs of the inning with one coming via the strikeout.
Tough loss tonight for the Pirates, especially since they held a three-run lead going into the bottom half of the sixth. Archer pitched well, but couldn’t get any help from the bullpen. This series will wrap up tomorrow evening with an odd 5:05pm start time. Nick Kingham will go for the Buccos, while Atlanta will send Julio Teheran to the bump.
Record vs. Braves: 1-4
Record vs. N.L. East: 10-19
Record on the Road: 31-36
Overall Record: 66-70
Let’s Go Bucs!