Fresh off a series victory over the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park, the Pittsburgh Pirates hit the road for the start of a three-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays. Despite a valiant comeback and a great chance to win the game, the Bucs came up short, falling to the Rays in extra innings by a 4-3 score.
Mitch Keller started for Pittsburgh, giving up three runs on five hits in five innings. Yerry De Los Santos suffered the loss, giving up the game-winning run in the 10th inning. Jeffrey Springs started for Tampa, lasting six innings while giving up three runs on seven hits. Jason Adam earned the victory (1-2) by pitching a scoreless 10th.
The Rays took control of the game in the bottom of the second with three runs off Keller. A single by Luke Raley scored the game’s first run, followed by another run-scoring single by Jonathan Aranda. Later in the inning, Keller balked, allowing the Rays’ third run of the inning to score.
Keller rebounded well, though, and kept the Bucs in the game throughout his five innings. The bullpen did their job as well, holding the Rays in check through nine innings.
The bats came alive a bit for Pittsburgh in the fourth inning on a pair of solo homeruns by Michael Chavis (8) and Diego Castillo (6) to make it a 3-2 game. Hoy Park’s solo homerun, his second of the season, tied the game in the fifth at 3-3, which would remain the score until the 10th inning.
The Pirates had a prime opportunity to take the lead in the 10th, putting runners at first and third with no outs. But Jack Suwinski struck out, Bryan Reynolds popped out, and Chavis struck out to end the threat.
The Rays played small ball to perfection in the bottom of the inning to secure the victory. Vidal Brujan stole third base with one out, and Harold Ramirez singled him home on the next pitch to score the winning run.
This was a difficult way to start this road trip for Pittsburgh. They fell behind early, battled back to tie the game, and had a great chance in the 10th to take the lead and potentially win. Instead, they lost the game, and now will have to win back-to-back games this weekend to secure a series victory.
Record vs. Rays: 0-1
Record vs. American League: 1-4
Record on the Road: 12-21
Overall Record: 29-41
Let’s Go Bucs!