The Pittsburgh Pirates continued their six-game road trip tonight with the start of a four-game series against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park. After being swept by the St. Louis Cardinals in their previous series, Pittsburgh looked to get this one started on the right foot. This game would be a back-and-forth contest, but in the end the Pirates would come away with a 6-4 victory in ten innings.
Pittsburgh jumped on the board in the first inning when Jacob Stallings hit a two-run home run to left. Stallings was back in the lineup tonight after missing the previous two games after being hit with a foul ball on the knee Sunday. Atlanta was quick to answer and take the lead in the second inning on a three run homer by William Contreras.
The home run ball would continue to fly in the sixth inning. Bryan Reynolds tied the game at three with a solo homer to center. Dansby Swanson grabbed the lead back with a solo homer of his own in the bottom half of the inning. The Pirates were able to tie the game at four in the seventh inning on an RBI single to shallow left center by Adam Frazier.
Wil Crowe started for Pittsburgh and worked five innings allowing four runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts and three walks. His mound opponent Drew Smyly pitched six innings, allowing three runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. This game would come down to the bullpens, and the Pirates pen was better. They would allow just one hit over five innings to go with five strikeouts. The Braves would give up three runs, two earned, on six hits with three strikeouts over the four innings they would cover.
The Pirates came to play in the tenth. Ben Gamel would start the inning on second base and be brought home on a Kevin Newman single to left center. Pittsburgh was then able to add an insurance run when Gregory Polanco hit a sac fly to bring in Newman. After pitching the ninth, Richard Rodriguez came back out in the tenth to earn his third win of the season and see his ERA drop to 0.47.
I feel like all wins are must wins for the Pirates, but this one was needed after dropping two straight to St. Louis. With this win it still allows them to salvage this road trip. Game two of this four game series will take place at 7:20 Friday night with Pittsburgh sending Tyler Anderson to the bump, and Atlanta will counter with Ian Anderson.
Record vs. Braves: 1-0
Record vs. N.L. East: 1-0
Record on the Road: 10-14
Overall Record: 18-25
Let’s Go Bucs!