Pittsburgh Pirates lose series finale to Phillies 4-2


2. 4. 4. 6. Final

Despite a late ninth inning surge Thursday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates fell to the Philadelphia Phillies 4-2 in the series finale. Vance Worley, in possibly his last start before Charlie Morton‘s imminent return to the Pirates’ rotation, lasted only four innings, despite giving up only one earned run. He did, however, give up eight hits and three runs total, and his pitch count rose to 81 before he was pulled for reliever Radhames Liz. Aaron Harang opposed Worley on the hill and continued to pitch like the ace he’s been this season, lasting eight innings and giving up no runs on five hits, striking out six in the process.

The Phillies quickly went up 1-0 in the first inning when Worley walked second baseman Cesar Hernandez to bring in the first run. Grady Sizemore then singled to bring in shortstop Freddy Galvis to make the score 2-0. The Phillies later went up 4-0, in part due to a solo home run from Ryan Howard in the fifth, his team-leading seventh home run.

The Pirates wouldn’t answer until the ninth when a Starling Marte double and a Pedro Alvarez groundout closed the deficit to 4-2. Jonathan Papelbon then took over for Phillies’ reliever Ken Giles and got the last two outs to shut the door on the Pirate comeback.

What Stood Out

This was a disappointing series to many fans who hoped the Pirates’ would capitalize on the Phillies’ woes and follow up their recent success against St. Louis to take at least three out four from their cross-state foes. This didn’t happen, as the teams’ ultimately split the series. Aaron Harang stood out for the Phillies as the veteran lowered his staff-leading ERA to 2.03.

For the Pirates, it was nice to see Josh Harrison continue his recent offensive surge. He went 3-4 on the day and scored a run. Marte was also 3-4 on the day, scoring a run and driving in a run as well. However, those were the only two Pirate starters to get hits on the day. It didn’t help that Andrew McCutchen had a scheduled day off either.

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What’s Next

The Pittsburgh Pirates (17-18) travel to Chicago to open up a three-game series against their division foes. Chicago currently sits in second place in the National League Central. Jeff Locke (2-2, 4.71 ERA) will take the mound for the Pirates as he hopes to have another good outing and secure the final rotation spot over Vance Worley before Charlie Morton returns from his rehab assignment. The Chicago Cubs (19-15) will send out Kyle Hendricks (0-1, 4.65 ERA) to face off against Locke. First pitch is slated for 2:20 PM at Wrigley Field.

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