Pittsburgh Pirates Take Game 1 Of Weekend Series Against Brewers
The Pittsburgh Pirates are now 13-16 this season
This weekend the Pittsburgh Pirates are hosting the Milwaukee Brewers in a brief 3 game homestand. This is the first series of the season between the National League Central foes. For the Pirates, this series is off to a great start.
After losing 3 of 4 in Cincinnati, the Pittsburgh Pirates bounced back with a 4-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.
Chad Kuhl started for the Pirates on Friday night. This was Kuhl’s first start since he had to exit the game last Sunday after being hit in the knee with a Dee Gordon line drive.
Due to the rain delay, Kuhl lasted just 3 innings on Friday night. These 3 innings, however, were effective ones. He kept the Brewers off the scoreboard allowing just 2 hits, he did not walk a batter, and he struck out a pair.
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Chad Kuhl needed just 43 pitches to get through his 3 innings of work and he fired 32 of his 43 pitches for strikes. It was good to see Kuhl bounce back as his previous two starts did not go well. In these starts, Kuhl had allowed 11 earned runs on 15 hits and 5 walks in just 5 2/3 innings pitched.
After a 2 hour and 27 minute rain delay, Wade LeBlanc took over for the Pirates. LeBlanc would go fire 3 scoreless innings for Clint Hurdle. He allowed 2 hits, did not walk a batter, and he struck out 4.
This continued what has been excellent work for Wade LeBlanc out of the Pirate bullpen this season. Neal Huntington’s move to claim LeBlanc off waivers in September, and then sign him to a new contract this offseason continues to look like a great move by the Pirate general manager.
In the bottom of the 4th inning, the Pirates got the scoring started. Josh Bell doubled to start the inning, and then with one out Gregory Polanco laced a single to center field to score Bell and make it 1-0 Pirates.
Francisco Cervelli then collected a base hit to give the Bucs two on with just one out. Right fielder Jose Osuna grounded out to first baseman Eric Thames, however, Thames threw the ball away allowing Gregory Polanco to score to make it 2-0 Pirates.
With two outs, Brewers reliever, and ex-Pirate, Rob Scahill intentionally walked Jordy Mercer to load the bases. This brought up Wade LeBlanc who singled to left field to plate Cervelli and make it 3-0 Pirates. On the play, however, Jose Osuna was thrown out at the plate trying to score thus ending the 4th inning.
The Pirates would add to their lead in the bottom of the 5th inning. This occurred when first baseman Josh Bell launched a solo home run off of Scahill. Bell’s ball eventually wound up in the Allegheny River, giving him 5 home runs this season and the Pirates a 4-0 lead.
After LeBlanc exited the game, Juan Nicasio took over for the Pirates in the top of the 7th inning. Nicasio loaded the bases with two outs via a pair of singles and a walk before being lifted for Felipe Rivero. In 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, Rivero did not allow a base runner and he recorded a strikeout.
Daniel Hudson pitched the 9th inning for the Pirates. Hudson allowed a single but also recorded a strikeout in his scoreless inning of work. This gives Hudson back-to-back scoreless outings after a three-outing stretch in which he allowed 8 earned runs in 1 2/3 innings of work.
Next: Josh Bell Is Becoming A Plus Defender At 1B
The Pirates continue to be Jekyll nad Hyde against the National League Central this season. They are now a combined 5-2 against the Cubs and Brewers while being just 1-9 against the Cardinals and Reds.
Game 2 of the series is at 7:05 PM on Saturday night. Gerrit Cole will start for the Pirates, while the Brewers hand the ball to veteran right-handed pitcher Matt Garza.