Pittsburgh Pirates Split Series With Miami Marlins

Jun 11, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz (32) and relief pitcher Felipe Rivero (73) celebrate after defeating the Miami Marlins at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 11, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz (32) and relief pitcher Felipe Rivero (73) celebrate after defeating the Miami Marlins at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Pittsburgh Pirates earned a series split with the Miami Marlins with a victory on Sunday afternoon

On the season, the Pittsburgh Pirates are now 28-35. This comes as a result of a 3-1 victory over the Miami Marlins on Sunday afternoon at PNC Park. With the win, the Pirates split their four-game series with the Marlins and won the season series over the Marlins four games to three.

Sunday’s game was one where the Pittsburgh Pirates grabbed an early lead and never looked back. Led by a great starting pitching performance from Ivan Nova, the Pirates were able to roll to their second consecutive victory.

Ex-Pirate punching bag Jeff Locke started for the Marlins on Sunday. It did not take his ex-teammates long to get to Locke and get on the scoreboard.

With two outs in the bottom of the 1st inning, Jose Osuna and David Freese collected back-to-back singles. This was followed by an Elias Diaz double. Diaz’s double plated both Osuna and Freese and made the score 2-0 Pirates after an inning of play.

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This would remain the score until the bottom of the 6th inning.

After David Freese grounded out to start the 6th inning, Elias Diaz, Andrew McCutchen, and Josh Bell all singled to load the bases. This would chase Jeff Locke from the game. Jordy Mercer then recorded a RBI single off of new Miami pitcher Brad Ziegler to make it 3-0 Pirates.

Clint Hurdle then went for the knockout punch. The Pirate skipper called upon John Jaso to pinch-hit for starting pitcher Ivan Nova. However, Jaso hit into an inning-ending double play ending Nova’s day.

Ivan Nova turned in arguably his most dominant start of the season on Sunday. In 6 innings of work, he did not walk a batter, allowed just a single base hit, and he struck out 4. Nova needed just 77 pitches to retire 18 of the 19 batters he faced in 6 innings of work.

Juan Nicasio was then called upon to pitch the 7th inning for the Pirates. Despite allowing a leadoff single to start the inning, Nicasio was able to post a zero. This included him recording his 28th strikeout of the season, in 28 1/3 innings pitched.

In the top of the 8th inning, Clint Hurdle handed the ball to Daniel Hudson. Hudson allowed a home run to Ichiro Suzuki to start the inning, accounting for Miami’s only run, and cut the Pirate lead to 3-1. After allowing a single to Dee Gordon, Hudson would strike out Giancarlo Stanton and get JT Riddle to groundout.

Hudson was then lifted for Felipe Rivero. Rivero, who is becoming arguably the best relief pitcher in all of Major League Baseball, got J.T. Realmuto to groundout to end the inning. He then retired the Marlins in order in the 9th inning to seal the Pirate victory.

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Tomorrow night, the Pittsburgh Pirates start a three-game series with the National League West leading Colorado Rockies. Jameson Taillon will make his emotional and triumphant return to the mound for the Pirates, while the Rockies will counter with left-handed pitcher Kyle Freeland. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.

Monday night’s game should be an emotional one at PNC Park. Less than 6 weeks after being treated for testicular cancer, Jameson Taillon will be back on a Major League mound. Hopefully, he will continue the great season he was having before his diagnosis cost him 6 weeks of action.