For a second consecutive night, the Pittsburgh Pirates lost in extra innings against the Baltimore Orioles in a game they appeared to have won.
On Wednesday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates appeared to be on their way to victory. But for a second consecutive night, Tony Watson blew the game in the bottom of the 9th inning leading to a Pirate loss. This time, it came by a score of 9-6 in 11 innings.
With the loss, the Pittsburgh Pirates were swept in their brief 2 game series with the Baltimore Orioles. The Pirates now find themselves with a 26-33 record this season. Furthermore, they are now 0-5 in interleague play.
The top of the 2nd inning would see the Pittsburgh Pirates strike first.
Moroff would hit a 2-run double to plate both McCutchen and Diaz, making it 2-0 Pirates. Jordy Mercer then singled to put men on the corners with just 1 out. However, Baltimore starting pitcher Wade Miley was able to strikeout Josh Harrison and get Gregory Polanco to ground out to end the inning.
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Chad Kuhl would then get himself into trouble in the bottom of the 2nd inning. He issued back-to-back walks to Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo to start the inning. Davis then moved up to third base on a fly out by Jonathan Schoop, and a terrible throw by McCutchen.
Davis advancing on the fly out by Schoop would pay off. Hyun Soo Kim would hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Davis and cut the Pirate lead to 2-1. J.J. Hardy would then ground out to second base to end the inning.
To start the top of the 3rd inning David Freese walked and Jose Osuna singled. Andrew McCutchen then hit what should have been a routine double play ball, but Manny Machado would botch the play leading the Orioles only getting 1 out.
After Josh Bell struck out, it appeared the Pirates would not capitalize. However, Elias Diaz had other ideas. With 2-outs, he hit a ball between first baseman Chris Davis and the first base line. This turned into a 2-run double, making it 4-1 Pirates.
Wade Miley would then walk Max Moroff, which led to the end of his night. In 2 2/3 innings pitched on Wednesday night he allowed 4 runs on 8 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts.
The Orioles attempted to mount a 2-out rally in the bottom of the 4th inning. After getting ahead of the free-swinging Mark Trumbo 0-2, Chad Kuhl threw 4 consecutive balls to walk Trumbo.
Jonathan Schoop then singled putting men on the corners with 2 outs. Trumbo would then make a huge base running blunder. On a pitch in the dirt, he broke for home, tried to scramble back to third base, and was gunned down by Elias Diaz to end the inning.
Baltimore would threaten again in the bottom of the 5th inning.
To start the inning, Hyun Soo Kim would single. Then with 1-out, Caleb Joseph hit what looked like would be an easy 5-4-3 double play. However, the ball took a strange hop over Josh Harrison’s head for a base hit.
In 5 innings of work on Wednesday night Chad Kuhl flashed a lot of good, but he also flashed inconsistent control. He held the Orioles to 1 run on just 4 hits and he struck out 4. Kuhl also hit 100 miles per hour on the radar gun 3 times.
However, he also walked 4 batters. On the season he is now averaging 3.98 BB/9. While Chad Kuhl continues to walk too many batters, the rest of his results have been promising of late.
Daniel Hudson took over for the Pirates in the bottom of the 6th inning. Hudson would retire the Orioles in order, while also recording a strikeout.
Edwin Jackson pitched the top of the 7th for the Orioles. This marks 12 teams that Jackson has pitched for in his seemingly never ending Major League career. Things did not go well for Jackson, who would struggle in his season debut.
Gregory Polanco would single to start the inning. Then with 1-out, Jose Osuna blasted his 4th home run of the season to left field to make it 6-1 Pirates. After walking Josh Bell with 2-outs, Jackson would get Elias Diaz to ground out to end the inning.
Juan Nicasio took over on the mound for the Pirates in the bottom of the 7th inning and quickly found himself in a rare jam. After a walk and catcher’s interference, the Orioles had 2 runners on with no one out. However, Nicasio got a fly out to fight field on a nice running grab by Gregory Polanco and then induced an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play to clean up the mess.
In the bottom of the 8th inning, Clint Hurdle went to Johnny Barbato. With 1-out, Barbato would do what he does best and allow a home run. Luckily, it was just a solo shot by Adam Jones that cut the Pirate lead to 6-2 after 8 innings.
Barbato then started the bottom of the 9th for the Pirates. However, after walking Mark Trumbo and giving up a double to Jonathan Schoop he was pulled for Tony Watson. Watson would inherit a messy situation, as the Orioles had runners on second and third with no one out.
After allowing a sacrifice fly to cut the Pirate lead to 6-3, Watson allowed a RBI double to J.J. Hardy which made it 6-4 Pirates. It also brought the tying run to the plate. Then with 2-outs, Tony Watson would allow a game tying 2-run home run to Trey Mancini. This was the second consecutive night in which Watson allowed a game tying 2-run home run in the 9th inning.
While Barbato and Watson were both awful in the 9th inning, some blame belongs on Clint Hurdle as well. After Barbato got into a mess, Hurdle should have gone to Felipe Rivero. It was the highest leverage situation of the game, and Hurdle left his best reliever in the bullpen.
After the Pirates were retired in order in the top of the 10th inning, they finally went to Felipe Rivero. Rivero did what he does, and blew hitters away. He retired the Orioles in order while recording a pair of strikeouts.
Wade LeBlanc pitched the bottom of the 11th for the Pirates. For a second consecutive night, he would allow a walk off hit. With 2-outs and a man on first, LeBlanc would walk Caleb Joseph. This was followed by a walk off 3-run home run by Trey Mancini. In just 2 at-bats on Wednesday night, Mancini was 2-for-2 with 2 home runs and 5 RBI for the Orioles.
Pirate broadcaster Joe Block put it best after this game when he called it a disastrous series in Baltimore. The Pirates should have won both of these games, but instead wound up with a pair of gut-punch losses. As a result, the Bucs head home 4.5 games out of first place when they should only be 2.5 out.
The Pittsburgh Pirates return home to PNC Park tomorrow. At 7:05 PM, the Bucs will start a 4 game series against the Miami Marlins. Gerrit Cole is scheduled to start for the Pirates, while the Marlins plan to go with ex-Pirate Edinson Volquez who threw a no-hitter in his last start. Volquez will be the first of 3 ex-Pirate starting pitchers that the Bucs will see this weekend.