The Pittsburgh Pirates are now 2-2 this season
Saturday night was the first night game of the 2017 season at PNC Park. This game saw the Pittsburgh Pirates match up against the Atlanta Braves, and it saw the Pirates walk away with their second consecutive victory.
After their 6-4 victory on Saturday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates are now 2-2 this season. Saturday night’s game was not a pretty one. However, a win is a win. No matter how ugly it may wind up being.
Chad Kuhl made his first start of the season for the Pirates. Kuhl struggled immensely in five innings of work. He was continually dancing through raindrops, however, he was helped out by some very poor Atlanta Brave at-bats.
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The Braves would regain the lead in the top of the third inning. After an error on Starling Marte, on a routine fly ball that fell between he and Polanco, put a runner on second base to lead off the inning. Jace Peterson recorded a two-out triple to make it 3-2 Atlanta.
In the bottom half of the third inning, the Pirates would regain the lead and never give it back. With Gregory Polanco on third base and one out the Braves brought their infield in. However, a Brandon Phillips fielding error on a ball hit by John Jaso would allow Polanco to score to tie the game at 3.
Later in the inning, Josh Harrison recorded a RBI single to score Jaso. This gave the Pirates their first lead of the night at 4-3.
Chad Kuhl finished the night after five innings of work. He allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on five hits and a career-high six walks. Albeit, two of his six walks were intentional. Kuhl also struck out five batters.
Kuhl was very lucky things did not get worse for him on Saturday night. The Braves were very undisciplined at the plate, which played a large role in his five strikeouts, and they also hit into four double plays.
With help from the Braves, the Pirates would plate two more runs in the fifth inning. Pinch hitter Alen Hanson reached on an infield hit to lead off the inning. After a wild pitch and a passed ball, he found himself on third base. He would then score on a second passed ball that inning to make it 5-3 Pirates.
After back-to-back two-out walks by Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen, Gregory Polanco would record a RBI single to make it 6-3 Pirates. The Pirates’ left fielder enjoyed a great game at the plate going 4-for-4 with a double, a RBI, and a stolen base on Saturday night. This was Polanco’s fourth career four-hit game.
Juan Nicasio pitched a scoreless sixth inning that included a strikeout, and Felipe Rivero followed with a scoreless seventh inning. In the eighth inning, Daniel Hudson allowed a leadoff double and a run but did a nice job of pitching out of trouble.
In the ninth inning, things got interesting. Tony Watson allowed an infield hit to Freddie Freeman to start the inning. Then with one out, he hit Nick Markakis with a pitch. However, he was able to get Brandon Phillips to pop out and struck out Chase d’Arnaud to finish the Braves off.
The Pirates will look for their first sweep of the 2017 season against the Braves tomorrow afternoon. Gerrit Cole will toe the rubber for the Pirates, while Julio Teheran will get the ball for Atlanta. This should be an excellent pitching matchup.
First pitch from PNC Park is scheduled for 1:35 PM.