After a disappointing road trip, the Pittsburgh Pirates returned to PNC Park to begin a six game homestand, with the first of three games against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night. Unfortunately, those road woes would creep onto the North Shore with a 4-0 defeat. Lack of hitting and base running woes were the key to the loss.
Toronto got on the board early when Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit an RBI single to left center. They tacked on another run in the fourth on a Daulton Varsho double to left to score Whit Merrifield. George Springer smacked a 451 ft. two run home run in the fifth inning to double that lead.
Rich Hill started for Pittsburgh and would last 5.1 innings on the mound. During that time, he would allow four runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and two walks. Dauri Moreta pitched the next 1.2 innings and struck out three batters. The eighth belonged to the recently reinstated Chase De Jong, and he would be charged with two walks. David Bednar struck out two batters during his inning of work in the ninth.
The Blue Jays had Chris Bassitt on the bump and he was dominate during his seven innings pitching. Though he would walk four and allow four hits, to go along with five strikeouts, he never let the Pirates find any rhythm offensively. Erik Swanson and Jordan Romano worked the eighth and ninth innings respectively and each struck out one batter.
Pittsburgh would collect only four hits on the night and were never a threat to cross the plate. They also broke the rule of collecting their first or third out of an inning at third base twice. Once from a steal attempt by Ji Hwan Bae and again from Carlos Santana trying to go first to third. Bae would leave the game early with an injury and Andrew McCutchen was a late scratch with a left ankle injury. The Pirates must now wait until Saturday evening to snap this losing skid.
Record vs. Blue Jays: 0-1
Record vs. American League: 6-7
Record at Home: 9-5
Overall Record: 20-13
Let’s Go Bucs!