Pittsburgh Pirates Earn Series Victory Over New York Yankees
The Pittsburgh Pirates earned their third series victory of the season on Sunday afternoon
Entering this weekend, the Pittsburgh Pirates had played five series this season. All five of these series ended in a sweep, with the Pirates earn a pair of sweeps and being swept three times. Over the weekend, however, that changed.
The Pittsburgh Pirates won their weekend series against the New York Yankees at PNC Park. After splitting the first two games of the series, the Bucs defeated the Bronx Bombers by a score of 2-1 on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Pirates improve to 8-10 on the young season.
Ivan Nova pitched started for the Pirates and pitched yet another gem. In 7 innings of work, Nova allowed 1 run, a solo home run by Jacoby Ellsbury, on 4 hits, 1 walk, and 7 strikeouts. The walked issued by Nova, to opposing starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery in the bottom of the 3rd inning, was the first walk issued by Nova this season.
In the bottom of the 1st inning on Sunday, the Pirates got the scoring started. Jordy Mercer walked, Josh Harrison singled, and Andrew McCutchen singled. This loaded the bases with no one out.
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The Pirates seemed primed to take a big early lead, unfortunately, their struggles with runners in scoring position continued. Gregory Polanco would strikeout swinging, and then David Freese hit a sacrifice fly to give the Bucs a 1-0 lead. Jose Osuna then popped out to end the inning.
While the Bucs took a 1-0 lead, they easily could have scored more runs.
Catcher Chris Stewart recorded a one-out triple in the bottom of the 2nd inning. This was Stewart’s first career triple. However, after Nova struck out and Mercer grounded out Stewart was stranded.
In the bottom of the 3rd inning, the Pittsburgh Pirates added to their lead. Andrew McCutchen drew a one-out walk, and Gregory Polanco followed with a run scoring double. This made it 2-0 Bucs.
The Yankees got on the board with Ellsbury’s home run in the top of the 7th inning. Nova, however, retired the other three batters he faced that inning. This finished off an excellent start for Nova in his first career start against his former team.
The Pirates appeared ready to put the game on ice in the bottom of the 7th inning. John Jaso walked to start the inning, Chris Stewart singled, and then Josh Bell walked. This loaded the bases with no one out.
However, the Pirates would fail to push a run across. Jordy Mercer flew out to shallow left field, Josh Harrison lined out to shortstop, and Andrew McCutchen flew out to end the inning. This kept the score at 2-1.
The other big issue that has plagued the Pirates this season, poor defense, reared it’s ugly head again in the 8th inning. With two outs and two on the Yankees executed a double steal. On the play, however, Chris Stewart threw a dart to David Freese at third base that beat the runner. Freese, however, failed to catch the ball.
Luckily for the Pirates, Daniel Hudson struck out Starlin Castro to end the inning. This capped off a scoreless 8th inning for Hudson.
Tony Watson took over in the 9th inning and would record his 6th save of the season, but it would not come easy. With one out Aaron Judge singled and then pinch-hitter Matt Holliday walked. This gave the Yankees two on with two outs.
Ronald Toreyes then hit what looked like could be a game ending 4-6-3 double play. However, Josh Harrison booted the ball which loaded the bases with just one out.
After this, Tony Watson would crack down. He struck out Aaron Hicks and then got Pete Kozma to ground out to shortstop to end the game.
Tomorrow, the Pirates start a three game series with the Chicago Cubs. This is the second matchup of the season between the two teams. The Cubs will be looking for revenge after being swept by the Pirates at Wrigley Field last weekend.
Chad Kuhl will start for the Pirates, while the Cubs go with Brett Anderson. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.