The Pittsburgh Pirates have been playing lackluster baseball (at best) since coming out of the gates after the All-Star break. That trend unfortunately continued on Saturday night, as the Bucs dropped their sixth consecutive game, a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies at PNC Park.
Mitch Keller started for Pittsburgh, and continued his upward trend of recent starts. The Bucs’ right-hander gave up one run on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts in six innings. In what began has a rough season for him on the mound, he has put together a nice stretch of solid outings lately amidst his team’s terrible performances.
Ranger Suarez started for the Phillies and held the Pirates’ in check throughout his six innings on the mound, giving up just three hits and a walk while striking out eight batters.
There wasn’t much scoring to speak of on Saturday, one night after the two teams combined for 15 runs. J.T. Realmuto’s solo homerun in the sixth, his 10th of the season, put the Phillies in front at 1-0. Pittsburgh tied the game in the bottom of the seventh when Cal Mitchell hit a solo homerun, his fourth of the year, to right field.
The 10th inning was anything but conventional, resulting in a Phillies victory. The first batter of the inning, Matt Vierling, reached on a fielder’s choice, allowing Didi Gregorious to score aided by Michael Chavis’s throwing error. Oneil Cruz started at second base in the bottom of the 10th, but was picked off by pitcher Corey Knebel. The next two batters for Pittsburgh grounded out to end the game.
This was another disappointing and frustrating loss for the Pirates, who are officially now in freefall mode. With the trade deadline looming and this team 21 games under .500, they are in full sell mode and we should all expect changes going forward.
Pittsburgh will look to avoid the series sweep on Sunday afternoon at PNC Park. Aaron Nola will take the mound for the Phillies against JT Brubaker for the Bucs.
Record vs. Phillies – 0-3
Record vs. N.L. East: 7-14
Record at Home: 21-28
Overall Record: 40-61
Let’s Go Bucs!