The Pittsburgh Pirates completed a three-game series sweep of the Boston Red Sox with a 4-1 victory on Wednesday afternoon at Fenway Park.
Mitch Keller earned his first victory of the season, while Carlos Santana had two hits and two RBIs to lead the offense. With the win, the Bucs wrapped up their first road trip of the season with a 4-2 record and will return to Pittsburgh for their home-opener on Friday at PNC Park.
Keller pitched a great game this afternoon, giving up one run on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in his seven innings on the mound. Throwing over 100 pitches may have been a bit much and manager Derek Shelton gambled by leaving him in through the seventh inning, but the Bucs’ right-hander held the Red Sox’s hitters in check throughout most of the afternoon and tallied the well-deserved win.
Santana broke the game’s scoreless tie in the top of the fourth with a solo homerun off starter Corey Kluber to right field. A bunt single by Ke’Bryan Hayes in the top of the sixth scored Bryan Reynolds from third to make it a 2-0 score.
Reynolds’ sacrifice fly in the seventh scored Jason Delay to make it 3-0, and Santana’s double later in the inning scored Oneil Cruz to make it 4-0. At the time, it didn’t look as though the Bucs would need those extra runs. But they almost did.
The Red Sox got on the board in the seventh inning when Christian Arroyo singled home Triston Casas to make it a 4-1 game. Several batters later, after two mound visits, Reese McGuire stepped to the plate and hit a three run homerun….or so we thought. The call was overturned and one pitch later, Keller struck him out to end the threat and the inning.
Rob Zastrynzny pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Duane Underwood Jr. earned his first save of the young season by shutting things down in the ninth.
This was a great way to wrap up this road trip for the Buccos. It is always difficult to win a series on the road, yet alone a sweep. This was a solid response to their disappointing series against the Cincinnati Reds last weekend, and now they can hopefully build off this momentum as they return home to PNC Park.
The Pirates will look to win their fourth game in a row when they take the field on Friday. Rich Hill will be on the bump for Pittsburgh against Lucas Giolito for the Chicago White Sox.
Record vs. Red Sox: 3-0
Record vs. American League: 3-0
Record on the Road: 4-2
Overall Record: 4-2
Let’s Go Bucs!