This Pittsburgh Pirates team just doesn’t quit battling. After taking three of four games in a home and home matchup against the Detroit Tigers, the Bucs continued their road trip by winning the first of a three game series against the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-2, at Rogers Centre.
Jameson Taillon took the mound for the Pirates against Marcus Stroman for the Toronto. Taillon improved to 7-5 on the season, giving up two runs on six hits in six innings. As for Stroman, the Blue Jays’ hurler was solid tonight, but his defense behind him was mediocre at best. None of the four runs he gave up were earned, while he surrendered just four hits in eight innings of work.
Toronto scored the game’s first run on a Kevin Pillar sacrifice fly in the second inning. In a bizarre third inning, the Pirates used a bit of luck and a few Jays’ miscues to score four runs. After Adam Frazier reached first and Francisco Cervelli reached second on a missed catch error, John Jaso scored to tie the game. Josh Harrison singled home a run, and Andrew McCutchen doubled home another run. Josh Bell’s sacrifice fly to center field scored Harrison to make it 4-1.
A solo homerun by Jose Bautista in the bottom of the third made it a 4-2 game, but the Blue Jays wouldn’t get any closer. While Taillon did enter the seventh inning, he left the game with runners on first and third and no outs. George Kontos came in and set the Blue Jays down without surrendering a run. Juan Nicasio and Felipe Rivero closed things out in the eighth and ninth innings respectively to secure the victory for the Pirates.
There were a couple key injuries during tonight’s action as well. McCutchen left the game in the third inning for what appeared to be an injury to his left knee. Russell Martin left the game for the Blue Jays in the second inning with a left oblique strain.
This was an important win for the Bucs, putting them in a great position to win another series. The N.L. Central race is extremely tight right now, and the Pirates need to continue to play good baseball to keep pace with the likes of the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, and Milwaukee Brewers. We can only hope that McCutchen’s injury is not serious and that he will not be out of the Pirates lineup for long.
The Pirates and Blue Jays will meet back up tomorrow afternoon. Chad Kuhl will take the mound for Pittsburgh against J.A. Happ for Toronto.
Record vs. Blue Jays: 1-0
Record vs. American League: 8-8
Record on the Road: 26-32
Overall Record: 58-58
Let’s Go Bucs!