The Pittsburgh Pirates have not played good baseball thus far on this short road trip. Although the won the first of this four game series against the Miami Marlins, they stranded a lot of baserunners and didn’t play very inspired baseball. Tonight, sloppy defense by the Bucs paired with timely hitting by the Marlins led to a 5-2 victory for the home team.
Charlie Morton started for Pittsburgh, and after a relatively strong start, ran into trouble in the middle innings, and certainly didn’t have the help of his defense. Chuck gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits in 5.1 innings. Jared Hughes and Antonio Bastardo pitched the latter innings for the Bucs in a losing effort.
Pittsburgh took the lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Aramis Ramirez, scoring Andrew McCutchen, who got things started with a two out double.
After the Marlins tied the game in the fourth inning on an RBI double by Justin Bour, things really fell apart for the Bucs in the fifth and sixth frames. McCutchen’s fielding error in the fifth turned a single up the middle by J.T. Realmuto into a run and a runner on second, putting the Marlins in front 2-1.
Miami would add three more runs, putting the game out of reach, in the sixth inning on RBI doubles by Martin Prado, Bour, and Christian Yelich. After six, the Marlins held a 5-1 advantage. The Pirates loaded the bases in the ninth inning with just one out, but were only able to plate one more run, and Sean Rodriguez flied out with runners on second and third to end the game.
Brad Hand held the Bucs in check throughout his outing tonight, giving up one run on nine hits with five strikeouts. He started the ninth inning, but was pulled after giving up back to back singles without recording an out. While the Pirates were able to muster nine total hits, they couldn’t bunch any of those hits together in order to sustain any type of rally.
This was a frustrating game to watch tonight. While this Marlins team is going nowhere in terms of postseason play, the wins against them count just as much as those against the better teams in the league. Frankly, it’s unacceptable to split this four game series, and with this lackluster performance, the Bucs have put themselves in a position where they must win the next two games.
The Pirates and Marlins will return to action tomorrow night for the third game of the series. Jeff Locke will start for Pittsburgh against Chris Narveson for Miami. First pitch is once again scheduled for 7:10pm.
Record vs. Marlins: 4-1
Record vs. N.L. East: 22-9
Record on the Road: 31-29
Overall Record: 75-49
Let’s Go Bucs!