The Pittsburgh Pirates suffered their fourth consecutive loss on Thursday night, an 8-7 defeat to the Philadelphia Phillies at PNC Park.
The Bucs fell behind early and, despite a valiant comeback in the late innings, came up one run short against their inter-state rivals.
Zach Thompson started for Pittsburgh and was ineffective on the mound. He fell to 3-8 on the season, giving up seven runs on 11 hits in 5.2 innings. Zack Wheeler faired much better for Philadelphia, giving up two runs on three hits in seven innings while improving to 9-5 on the year.
The Phillies scored three runs in the first inning to take control of the game immediately. A triple by Darick Hall scored a pair, and a single by Nick Castellanos scored a run as well. A single by Alec Bohm in the second inning made it 4-0, and a three-run homerun by Kyle Schwarber, his 32nd of the season, increased the lead to 7-0. After another run scored on a single by Didi Gregorius in the seventh, it looked like this one would smooth sailing for the Phillies.
But the Pirates battled back. A two-run homerun by Cal Mitchell, his 3rd of the season, got the Bucs on the board at 8-2. They did everything they could to extend this game to extra innings by scoring five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. A two-run single by Tyler Heineman cut the lead to 8-4 and a two-run triple by Kevin Newman made it 8-6. But even though Oneil Cruz’s groundout scored a run to make it 8-7, that is as close as the Pirates would get, as the Phillies hung on for the victory.
The Bucs made things interesting, but it doesn’t hide the fact of just how much this team is struggling currently. On Thursday, it was all about starting pitching. It is extremely rare to fall behind by as many runs as the Pirates did in this game and find a way to come back and win. Things are beginning to spiral out of control for Pittsburgh.
The Pirates will look to end their current skid on Friday when they take the field for the second game of this weekend’s series. Bailey Falter will start for Philadelphia against Jose Quintana in what could be his final start in a Pittsburgh uniform.
Record vs. Phillies: 0-1
Record vs. N.L. East: 7-12
Record at Home: 21-26
Overall Record: 40-59
Let’s Go Bucs!