Winning on the road is never easy and the Pittsburgh Pirates have struggled away from PNC Park once again this year. After dropping game one of this four-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night, it looked like the start of another long road trip. Things changed after a Pittsburgh win Tuesday night and the Pirates were able to carry that momentum into a three games to one series win, after a 6-3 victory tonight.
Philadelphia jumped on the board first tonight on a crazy play. With a runner on first, Elias Diaz attempted a snap throw to first to pick the runner off. Josh Bell wasn’t paying attention because the batters bat flew into the stands, so the ball went all the way to the right field wall and the Phillies took a 1-0 lead. That run would not count against starter Chad Kuhl who gave up two earned runs during his seven innings of work tonight. Seven innings is a career high for Kuhl, who would also walk and strikeout three batters.
A pair of homers in the fourth gave the Buccos the lead. Bell would hit a two-run shot and was followed by a solo homer from Gregory Polanco. After Philadelphia tied the game in the bottom half of the seventh, Pittsburgh fought back with three runs of their own in the eighth. Bell would start things with a RBI double to right. Bell would then come around to score when Polanco hit a single to left. Diaz would cap the scoring with a RBI double to left.
The Pirates bullpen was lights out tonight over the course of their two innings of work. Tony Watson pitched a scoreless eighth inning without letting a batter reach base. Juan Nicasio then came in to start the ninth and struck out a batter on his way to earing his first save of the season. More bullpen work like this sure would give Pittsburgh a major boost for the rest of the season.
Anytime you can travel across the commonwealth and take a series from your rival it is a good thing. The Buccos were able to do that for the season as well, since they took five of seven games from the Phillies this year. Now Pittsburgh will gear up for a three game division series with the Chicago Cubs, before heading into the All-Star break. Game one is tomorrow afternoon at 2:20pm and will feature Trevor Williams taking on Eddie Butler.
Record vs. Phillies: 5-2
Record vs. N.L. East: 19-11
Record on the Road: 19-24
Overall Record: 40-46
Let’s Go Bucs!