The Pittsburgh Pirates held a three-run lead heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, only to have another collapse resulting in a 6-4 loss to the Miami Marlins on Thursday.
The Bucs have now lost 10 straight games and are six games under .500 at 34-40 on the season.
Mitch Keller started for Pittsburgh, giving up one run on five hits with five strikeouts in seven innings. This was the type of performance needed from the team’s top starter to put them in a strong position to win, and that’s exactly what he did. Unfortunately, the bullpen was unable to hold the lead for even an inning.
Dauri Moreta didn’t record an out, giving up three runs on two hits and a walk before being pulled in favor of Carmen Mlodzinski. Giving up two runs on three hits, including the game-winning three-run homerun, he was tagged with the loss as well as the blown save.
Braxton Garrett started for Miami, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits with 13 strikeouts in seven innings. Huascar Brazoban earned the win, while A.J. Puk notched his 10th save of the season.
Joey Wendle’s sacrifice fly in the second inning scored the game’s first run and put the Marlins in front, 1-0. Carlos Santana’s RBI double in the fourth inning scored Connor Joe to tie the game. Later, Santana stole third base and scored on a throwing error by Nick Fortes. The Bucs held a 2-1 lead.
They added a pair of runs in the top of the eighth on solo homeruns by Henry Davis, the first of his MLB career, and Ke’Bryan Hayes, making it a 4-1 score. It seemed, at that point, that this may be the day the Bucs get back on the winning side of things.
And then the bottom of the eighth inning happened. With the bases loaded, Bryan De La Cruz singled home a pair of runs to make it 4-3. Later, Garrett Cooper crushed the go-ahead three-run homerun to right center field, making it 6-4 Miami. The Pirates went quietly in the top of the ninth to end the game.
This was a heartbreaking loss for the Bucs. Keller pitched a great game tonight, going seven innings and only giving up one run on the road is not an easy thing to do, and when he left the game, this team was in position to win. They seem to be finding a different way to lose every night at this point, and things couldn’t be bleaker right now for the Pirates and their fans.
The Pirates will look to snap their losing streak when they take the field in this series’ second game on Friday evening. Luis Ortiz will be on the mound for Pittsburgh against Jesus Luzardo for Miami.
Record vs. Marlins: 0-1
Record vs. N.L. East: 4-3
Record on the Road: 16-21
Overall Record: 34-40
Let’s Go Bucs!