After a short two game road trip, the Pittsburgh Pirates were back at PNC Park to begin a four-game series with the Miami Marlins. There was a buzz around the ballpark as Pittsburgh was welcoming back star third basemen Ke’Bryan Hayes from the injured list. Hayes had been out since the second game of the season, and his bat and defense are much needed in the Pirates lineup.
Tyler Anderson made the start for Pittsburgh and did well during his 5.1 innings on the mound. He would allow three runs on five hits to go with four strikeouts. Miami scored the first run of the game in the third on a Jazz Chisholm Jr. RBI single to left center. Their final two runs of the night came in the sixth. The first occurred on a Jesus Aguilar ground out that plated a run. The second was on a Garrett Cooper RBI single to right center.
The Pirates started to put runs on the board in the fourth. Bryan Reynolds would tie the game on a solo home run to right. They would get another run in the sixth when Hayes scored on a Chisholm Jr. fielding error. The biggest hit of the night came in the eighth, when Jacob Stallings came to the plate with the bases loaded andcleared them with a double to left.
The Pittsburgh bullpen was tasked with covering the final 3.2 innings of the night. They had some moments where they would bend, but thanks to some stellar defense behind them, they did not break. Clay Holmes gave up a hit, walked a batter and struck out one during his inning of work. Sam Howard collected two outs in the seventh. Kyle Crick walked a batter during the eighth and Richard Rodriguez picked up his seventh save of the season with the 5-3 Pirates victory after pitching the ninth.
Hayes being back in the lineup is big for this team. His bat helps the offense, but he made some great plays with the glove that may have saved a run or two. That is the kind of player that Pittsburgh needs in their lineup if they want to trend upward during the final 2/3 of the season. Mitch Keller is expected to be on the mound for the Pirates tomorrow night. It is never dull when Keller takes the mound as we never know what to expect. Hopefully he can carry the momentum from this win into his start.
Record vs. Marlins: 1-0
Record vs. N.L. East: 2-3
Record at Home: 11-15
Overall Record: 21-34
Let’s Go Bucs!