On Friday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates started their six game road trip with a dominating win over the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are now 10-12 this season. This includes now being 4-6 on the road. They have also now won back-to-back games.
On Friday night, the Pirates blasted the Miami Marlins by a score of 12-2 at Marlins Park in Miami. It was a great way for the Pirates to kick off their weekend series, and six game road trip. Friday night the Bucs scored early and often while cruising to their easiest victory of the season thus far.
The scoring started when Jordy Mercer hit a one-out home run in the top of the 1st inning. This was Mercer’s second home run of the season and gave the Bucs a quick 1-0 lead.
In the top of the 2nd inning, the Pittsburgh Pirates busted the game wide open. Additionally, they put the game on ice very early. This was due to an 8 run 2nd inning that gave the Pirates a 9-0 lead.
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Francisco Cervelli singled to lead off the top of the 2nd inning and then Jose Osuna walked. With one out, Gift Ngoepe would draw a walk to load the bases for pitcher Jameson Taillon who struck out. At this point, the Bucs had the bases loaded with two outs and no runs in. However, this was about to change in a big way.
Josh Harrison had a run scoring infield hit to make it 2-0 Pirates. Jordy Mercer walked to bring in a run, Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run single, and Gregory Polanco was hit by a pitch. This made it 5-0 Pirates and had the bases loaded once again.
Francisco Cervelli then hit a bases clearing triple, he was singled home by Jose Osuna, Josh Bell walked, Gift Ngoepe singled, and then Jameson Taillon grounded out to end the inning. However, the Pirates had scored 8 runs with two outs and now led 9-0.
In his first career start, second baseman Gift Ngoepe had a huge game for the Pirates. He collected his first career RBI in the top of the 4th inning when he singled in Jose Osuna to make it 10-1 Pirates. Then in the top of the 6th, Ngoepe and Alen Hanson hit back-to-back triples to make it 11-1 Pirates.
Due to a high pitch count (95 pitches), Jameson Taillon lasted just 5 innings on Friday night. These 5 innings were strong innings, though. He allowed 1 run on 5 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts. He now owns a 2.08 ERA and a 3.53 FIP in 30 1/3 innings of work this season.
In both the bottom of the 3rd inning and the bottom of the 5th inning Taillon did a nice job of pitching out of trouble. This was great to see from the young right-handed pitcher. Especially in a game that was so lopsided where it would have been very easy for him to give into opposing hitters.
Johnny Barbato then made his Pittsburgh Pirates debut. In his first outing as a Pirate Barbato pitched two scoreless frames of relief and retired 6 of the 7 batters he faced. He did not allow a hit, walked a batter, and did not strike anyone out.
The Bucs added to their lead in the top of the 8th inning. A Jose Osuna single and walks by Josh Bell and Gift Ngoepe loaded the bases with no outs. Then with one out, Josh Harrison hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Bell and make it 12-1 Bucs.
Wade LeBlanc pitched the 8th and 9th innings for the Pirates. He allowed a run on 5 hits, two of which were infield hits, and he did not issue a walk. He also recorded a season-high 4 strikeouts on Friday night.
The Pirate offense hammered out 18 hits and drew 8 walks on Friday night, both of which are new season highs. The Bucs also hit a season high 3 triples on Friday night.
Josh Harrison was 3-for-5 with 2 RBI. Jordy Mercer was 1-for-3 with a solo home run, two walks, and 2 RBI. Andrew McCutchen was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI, Gregory Polanco was 1-for-5 and was hit by a pitch, and Francisco Cervelli singled, walked, tripled, and he drove in 3.
Jose Osuna went 4-for-5 with a walk and a RBI, and Gift Ngoepe went 3-for-3 with a triple and 2 walks in his first Major League start. First baseman Josh Bell finished 1-for-3 with 2 walks.
This game was the biggest ‘laugher’ of the season thus far for the Pirates. The Bucs scored a lot of runs early and easily cruised to their 10th victory of the season’s opening month. It was a great start to this road trip.
Game 2 of the 3 game series is scheduled for 7:10 PM at Marlins Park on Saturday. Ivan Nova will start for the Pirates, while the Marlins will go with right-handed pitcher Dan Strailey.