Ke’Bryan Hayes and Liover Peguero each hit a homerun in the late innings as the Pittsburgh Pirates won their second straight game over the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday night.
After being held in check and struggling at the plate through the game’s first seven innings, the Pirates’ offense erupted for six runs in the eighth and ninth innings, beating the Royals by a 6-3 score.
The Bucs couldn’t solve Royals’ starter Cole Ragans, who gave up just three hits and a walk in his seven innings of work. But they took advantage of the struggling bullpen, tagging the four relievers who entered the game for a total of six runs on six hits in two innings.
It was another bullpen effort for the Bucs from start to finish, as Colin Selby started and pitched the first two innings. Luis Ortiz earned the victory (3-4) by pitching five innings, giving up one run on three hits.
Kansas City scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Drew Waters lined out, allowing Bobby Witt Jr. to score to make it 1-0. That score stuck until the top of the eighth inning, when Hayes crushed a two run homerun to left center field to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead.
Peguero’s three-run homerun in the ninth inning turned out to be the difference in the game. Jack Suwinski scored later in the inning on a Witt Jr. fielding error to make it 6-1.
The Royals did try to make things interesting in the bottom of the ninth inning. Freddy Fermin singled home a pair of runs to make it 6-3, but that is as close as they would get, and the Bucs closed the door to seal the victory.
The Pirates will look for the series sweep on Wednesday evening when they take the field for the final time against the Royals. Andre Jackson will be on the bump for Pittsburgh against Brady Singer for Kansas City. First pitch is once again scheduled for 8:10pm.
Record vs. Royals: 2-0
Record vs. American League: 17-25
Record on the Road: 28-37
Overall Record: 60-73
Let’s Go Bucs!