The Pittsburgh Pirates were defeated in Atlanta on Monday night
Monday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves started a 4 game series from the newly built Suntrust Park in Atlanta. This mark the first series the Pirates have ever played at the Braves’ new ballpark. Unfortunately for the Pirates, they started the series with a loss.
The Pittsburgh Pirates were defeated by a score of 5-2 on Monday night. With the loss, the Pirates are now 20-25 this season. Monday night the Pirates were done in by some bad defense, as well as a pair of ex-division foes launching home runs.
Gerrit Cole started for the Pirates. After putting together 7 consecutive great starts, the Pirate ace struggled from the start on Monday night. Despite posting a zero, he needed to throw 30 pitches in the 1st inning. This proved to be a sign of things to come for Cole.
The Pittsburgh Pirates drew first blood in Monday night’s defeat. Jordy Mercer singled to start the top fo the 3rd inning and advanced to second base on Gerrit Cole’s bunt. After an Adam Frazier walk, Josh Harrison reached on an error by Dansby Swanson. This allowed Frazier to score and gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead.
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However, this lead would not last long. Dansby Swanson doubled to leadoff the bottom of the 3rd inning. He then scored on an Ender Inciarte bloop single to tie the game at 1. Brandon Phillips then launched a 2-run home run to make it 2-1 Braves after 3 innings.
In the top of the 4th inning, both Pirate third baseman David Freese and manager Clint Hurdle were ejected. This came after Freese was called out on strikes on a pitch that was off the plate. This led to Josh Harrison sliding to third base and Alen Hanson taking over at second base.
After Cole worked out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom fo the 4th inning, the Braves would add to their lead in the bottom half of the 5th inning.
After singles by Inciarte and Phillips, the Braves had runners on the corners with no one out. Nick Markakis hit a ground ball to Harrison, however, Harrison would boot the ball allowing Inciarte to score and Markakis to reach base.
After getting a 6-4-3 double play, another ex-National League Central Division foe would burn the Pirates. New Atlanta first baseman Matt Adams launched a 2-run home run to right field to extend the Atlanta lead to 5-1. Gerrit Cole would then walk Tyler Flowers bringing his night to an end.
Gerrit Cole wound up pitching a season low 4 2/3 innings on Monday night. He allowed 5 runs, 2 earned, on 10 hits, 2 home runs, 1 walk, and 2 strikeouts. Johnny Barbato would then come into the game to get the final out of the bottom fo the 5th inning.
The top of the 6th inning looked like it was going to be a good one to the Pirates. Josh Bell, Alen Hanson, and John Jaso hit 3 consecutive singles to start the inning. This cut the Atlanta lead to 5-2, chased their starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz from the game, and gave the Pirates runners on the corner with no one out.
This led to the Braves going with another ex-division foe in Jason Motte. Motte would strikeout Francisco Cervelli and Jordy Mercer, and then got Jose Osuna to ground out to end the inning. This was arguably the turning point of the game.
In the bottom of the 6th inning, Jhan Marinez made his Pittsburgh Pirates’ debut. Despite allowing a 1-out single to Inciarte, Marinez would pitch a scoreless 6th inning. Jhan Marinez would then follow this up with a 1-2-3 bottom of the 7th inning.
In the bottom of the 7th, Gift Ngoepe replaced Jordy Mercer at shortstop. While turning a double play in the 5th inning Mercer appeared to injury his right hand in some fashion. Hopefully, he will be fine as the Pirates already have more than their fair share of players out.
To start the top of the 8th inning Josh Bell drew a walk. However, the next 3 Pirate hitters were retired to end the inning. Jhan Marinez remained in the game to pitch the bottom of the 8th inning.
Jhan Marinez remained in the game to pitch the bottom of the 8th inning. He recorded 2 outs, but also allowed a single and walked a pair. This loaded the bases with 2 outs and led to him being lifted for Daniel Hudson.
Hudson would strike out Nick Markakis to end the bottom of the 8th inning. In his Pirate debut, Jhan Marinez would pitch 2 2/3 scoreless innings of work despite allowing a pair of singles and walking a pair.
In the top of the 9th, the Braves went to closer Jim Johnson. He retired the first 2 batters of the inning before hitting Adam Frazier with a pitch. However, he then got Josh Harrison to ground out to end the game.