Pittsburgh Pirates beat Royals 10-7 in slugfest
The Pittsburgh Pirates topped the Kansas City Royals in a slugfest on Monday night by a score of 10-7. This series features two of the best teams in baseball, and the offenses didn’t disappoint. The two teams combined for 17 runs and 31 hits, despite an enticing pitching matchup that pitted All-Star A.J. Burnett against Yordano Ventura, possibly the hardest throwing starter in all of baseball. But both pitchers got tagged for six runs a piece. Burnett gave up those runs on 11 hits and a walk while only striking out two, while Ventura gave up his runs on 10 hits and a walk, but still managed to strike out seven. Burnett lasted six innings, while Ventura lasted only four.
Kansas City got out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning when Mike Moustakas singled in Alcides Escobar, but Moustakas was thrown out by Starling Marte trying to turn his single into a double. The Pirates quickly answered in the second inning when Pedro Alvarez singled in Marte, knotting the score at one. A Francisco Cervelli single, followed by an error in center by Lorenzo Cain, made the score 2-1 Pirates. Travis Ishikawa then came up big with a double off the wall in left, which scored two. This was all before there were any outs in the inning, but four runs is all the Pirates would score in the second.
The two teams traded runs for a while, but the Royals managed to close the Pirate lead to just one run with a big seventh inning. The Pirates got out of that inning with just an 8-7 lead, but Neil Walker had a big two-run triple in eighth that made it 10-7 Pirates. That score wouldn’t change as Mark Melancon would earn his 30th save and secure the Pirate victory.
What Stood Out
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It was good to see the Pirates’ offense come to life in a big way following a lackluster effort in Milwaukee where the team only managed to score one run twice in three games. The Pirates have done this before, where the offense gets hot quickly, as evidenced in a series against the Tigers before the All-Star break. Every member of the lineup had at least one hit except for Sean Rodriguez, who continues to struggle and is now batting just .201 on the season.
A.J. Burnett continues to struggle as well, though the team somehow manages to still win when he pitches. Burnett has given up at least two runs in three out of his last four starts, and his ERA now sits at 2.44 for the season. Jared Hughes, Tony Watson, and Mark Melancon continue to be a dynamic trifecta at the back-end of the bullpen, with none of them posting an ERA over 2.20 for the season.
Francisco Cervelli was added to the injury woes for the Pirates, as he left the game in the seventh inning due to discomfort in his right wrist.
The Pittsburgh Pirates (54-38) take on the Kansa City Royals (55-36) in the second game of this three-game series at 8:10 PM on Tuesday night. Gerrit Cole (13-3, 2.30 ERA) will make his first start since the All-Star Game and hopes to help take this series against a great Royals’ team. Jason Vargas (5-2, 4.10 ERA) will take the mound for the Royals as he gets set to make his first start since June 8th.
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