Fifth Inning Sinks Pittsburgh Pirates On Opening Day
The Pittsburgh Pirates started their 2017 campaign with a loss on Monday
Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh Pirates 2017 season got off on the wrong foot on Monday. The Bucs fell to the Boston Red Sox by a score of 5-3. This was the team’s first ever Opening Day trip to Fenway Park.
The Pirates were sunk by a 5-run bottom of the fifth inning by the Red Sox on Monday afternoon. With better defense in the fifth inning, odds are, the Pittsburgh Pirates would have been victorious on Monday.
Through 4 2/3 innings pitched Gerrit Cole was dominating the Red Sox and appeared to be in total control. However, after a two-out Jackie Bradley Jr. triple, the wheels would come off the cart.
Cole’s struggles in the fifth inning were not completely his doing, however. Jordy Mercer committed an error in the inning, and also made a poor play on a run-scoring infield hit by Pablo Sandoval.
After Bradley’s triple and Sandoval’s infield hit, Sandy Leon reached on a bunt single and Dustin Pedroia delivered a run-scoring single. An Andrew Benintendi three-run home run would then break the game open.
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Gerrit Cole’s final line was five runs allowed on seven hits, a walk, and two strikeouts in five innings pitched. Five of the seven hits he allowed, and all five runs, came in succession after there were two outs with no one on in the bottom of the fifth inning.
It was still an encouraging start for Cole, though. His stuff looked fantastic and, with better defense, he may have gotten out of the fifth inning without allowing a run.
The Pirates would battle back in the seventh inning. In the seventh inning, the Pirates plated a trio of runs and easily could have had more.
David Freese reached on an infield hit to lead off the inning and this was followed by a Francisco Cervelli double. This gave the Pirates runners on second and third with no one out.
Back-to-back one-out singles by Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer cut the Boston lead to 5-2. Then, Adam Frazier drew a walk to load the bases.
Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi would then make arguably the biggest play of the game.
With the bases loaded and one out, Starling Marte hit a line drive that appeared would go over Benintendi’s head. Had this happened, Marte would have had a bases-clearing double to tie the game. However, Benintendi was able to make a fantastic running catch to hold Marte to just a sacrifice fly to make it 5-3.
The Pittsburgh Pirates would threaten against Craig Kimbrel in the ninth inning. Josh Bell doubled to lead off the inning and Adam Frazier was hit by a pitch with two outs. However, strikeouts by Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer were sandwiched in between them.
Starling Marte then popped out to first base to end the game.
Juan Nicasio, Felipe Rivero, and Daniel Hudson each pitched a scoreless inning of relief. They combined to allow three hits while striking out a combined five batters.
Next: Three Storylines For 2017
After a day off tomorrow, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox will be back at it on Wednesday. Jameson Taillon will start for the Pirates, while Chris Sale makes his Red Sox debut. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.