The Pittsburgh Pirates continued their home stand Friday night when they welcomed the New York Yankees to PNC Park for a three-game series. It was Roberto Clemente Day and Pittsburgh could have used some of his magic, as they saw a two run ninth inning lead evaporate and would end up falling to New York by the final of 7-5.
Jack Suwinski started the scoring with a sac fly to score Ji Hwan Bae in the first finning. The Yankees tied the game in the second when Ben Rortvedt hit an RBI single to right center. Bryan Reynolds gave the Pirates back the lead in the bottom half of the inning on a single to right center. New York would plate two more runs in the sixth to put themselves up 3-2.
That lead would last until the bottom of the sixth when Pittsburgh scored three runs. Bae would drive home the first run with a single to shallow center. Ke’Bryan Hayes plated two more with a single to center. The Yankees got some help from poor pitching and a bad throw to first from Bae to score four runs in the ninth and ultimately win the game.
Johan Oviedo had a good outing, aside from walking five batters, over five innings for the Pirates. He would strikeout seven while allowing one run on four hits. Thomas Hatch would give up two runs on three hits with two strikeouts and a walk in the sixth. The seventh belonged to Colin Selby, who struck out two, while the eighth would go to Carmen Mlodzinski. He would strikeout one batter. Colin Holderman was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs on four hits with two walks in the ninth.
Gerrit Cole made his first start in Pittsburgh since 2017. He would allow two runs on six hits with four strikeouts and three walks over five innings. New York then used three pitchers out of the pen over the next three innings before another former Bucco, Clay Holmes, closed the game out in the ninth to pick up his 20th save of the year.
Even with the Yankees having a down year, it would have been nice to grab a win from them on the day we remember “The Great One.” Unfortunately, sloppy play in the ninth cost the Pirates as it has throughout the year at times. Game two of this series will take place on Saturday night at 6:35pm.
Record vs. Yankees: 0-1
Record vs. American League: 18-26
Record at Home: 37-39
Overall Record: 69-79
Let’s Go Bucs!