The Toronto Blue Jays built a lead and hung on late to complete a three-game series sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 4-3 victory at PNC Park on Sunday afternoon.
Ross Stripling started for Toronto, earning his seventh victory of the season while giving up three runs on two hits and three walks in six innings. JT Brubaker lasted 5.1 innings for Pittsburgh, giving up two earned runs on five hits. Duane Underwood, Jr. was tagged with the loss, giving up a run on four hits in his one inning on the mound.
Toronto scored the game’s first run in the second inning when Whit Merrifield singled home Bo Bichette. A single by Alejandro Kirk in the third inning scored Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to make it 2-0, and a sol homerun by Cavan Biggio in the fourth made it 3-0.
Pittsburgh got right back in the game in the bottom of the fourth when Josh VanMeter doubled home a pair of runs, making it a 3-2 score. Oneil Cruz’s solo homerun, his 12th of the season, came in the fifth inning, tying the game at 3-3.
Teoscar Hernandez’s RBI single in the seventh inning proved to be the game-winner for Toronto.
The Pirates made things interesting in the ninth inning, only making things that must more frustrating in the end. They put runners on second and third with no outs…but couldn’t push the tying run across the plate. VanMeter, Tucupita Marcano, and Kevin Newman struck out in consecutive at bats to end the game.
This was a horrible ending to a terrible weekend at PNC Park. The Pirates are in another freefall here in early September, and things will only get tougher from here on out. Beginning Monday afternoon, the Bucs welcome the N.L. East-leading New York Mets to PNC Park.
Record vs. Blue Jays: 0-2
Record vs. American League: 4-14
Record at Home: 26-39
Overall Record: 49-84
Let’s Go Bucs!