Francisco Liriano suffered from “one bad inning syndrome” in a disastrous fifth inning that saw all of the game’s scoring. Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh Pirates came out on the short end of things. Liriano gave up three earned runs on seven hits over seven innings pitched, with four of those hits and all three of those runs coming in the fifth inning. Liriano did manage to strike out six, but he did walk three and earned the loss on the night, dropping him to 1-3 on the season with a 2.96 ERA.
Opposite Liriano on the mound was Cole Hamels, who pitched a slightly better game than Liriano and managed to come out with the win. Hamels pitched seven innings and gave up two earned runs on five hits, striking out nine in the process. Hamels is now 3-3 on the season with a 3.53 ERA. Jonathan Papelbon closed the door on the Pirates in the ninth inning and earned the save.
Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run RBI single in the top of the fifth inning to open the scoring, putting the Pirates up 2-0. Unfortunately, that would be the only runs the Pirates would score on the night. The Phillies answered in the bottom of the fifth with three runs of their own on a Carlos Ruiz double, a Ben Revere groundout, and a Freddy Galvis single, which each plated a run.
In the ninth inning, the Pirates came within 90 feet of tying the game. After Francisco Cervelli walked, Steve Lombardozzi came in the pinch run for him. One out later, Papelbon proceeded to throw a wild pitch, and Lombardozzi was able to advance to third base. Jordy Mercer then flew out to right, and Lombardozzi took off for home, but was thrown out at the plate by Jeff Francoeur.
What Stood Out
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Josh Harrison managed to get another hit after his three-run home run the night before helped lead the Pirates to a victory. It’s nice to see him getting hits at the plate after a terrible start to the season. Francisco Liriano has had a couple of rough starts recently, giving up three runs Wednesday night and six runs (five earned) in his previous start against the St. Louis Cardinals. However, his fantastic start to the season wasn’t expected to last. McCutchen also managed another hit, raising his average to .231, which has started to creep up as of late.
The Pittsburgh Pirates (17-17) will take on the Philadelphia Phillies (12-23) in the series finale Thursday at 1:05 PM. Vance Worley (2-2, 4.63 ERA) takes the hill for the Pirates as he hopes to have a great outing and secure a rotation spot as Charlie Morton‘s return inches closer. Aaron Harang (3-3, 2.38 ERA) takes the mound opposite Worley for the Phillies. Harang has been the ace of the Phillies’ staff so far this season, statistically speaking. The Pirates hope to take their second straight series Thursday afternoon.