Pittsburgh Pirates Start Homestand With Extra Innings Loss


The Pittsburgh Pirates started a 3 game interleague series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night

Tuesday night was a great a pitcher’s duel at PNC Park. This duel was between Trevor Williams and Alex Cobb. But in the end, some poor defense helped to sink the Pirates in extra innings as the Bucs lost by a score of 4-2 in 10 innings.

With the loss, the Pittsburgh Pirates are now 35-42 on the season. This includes the Bucs being just 2-7 in interleague play. Luckily, due to the Cincinnati Reds defeating the Milwaukee Brewers, the Pirates remain 5 games out of first place in the National League Central.

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than it is to be good. This was certainly the case for the Tampa Bay Rays in the top of the 4th inning.

To start the inning, Corey Dickerson got a softly hit ground ball through the middle of the infield for a base hit. With 1 out, Logan Morrison snuck a groundball under Josh Harrison‘s glove to put runners on the corners with 1 out.

More from Rum Bunter

Steven Souza Jr. then produced a slowly hit groundball deep in the hole at short. Jordy Mercer was only able to get an out at second base on the play. This allowed Dickerson to score and made it 1-0 Rays.

Alex Cobb retired the first 10 batters he faced. Josh Harrison broke this up with a 1 out walk in the bottom of the 4th inning. However, Cobb would then retire Andrew McCutchen and Josh Bell to end the inning.

After hurling 6 no hit innings to start the game, Cobb lost his no-no bid in the bottom of the 7th inning.

Josh Harrison and Andrew McCutchen hit back-to-back singles to start the inning and the Pirates looked to be in business. However, Josh Bell hit into a 5-4-3 double play and David Freese would groundout to end the inning.

In the 8th inning, the Rays got lucky again.

Tim Beckham doubled on a ball barely fair inside the third base line to start the inning. He then scored on an Adeiny Hechavarria single that took an odd hop over David Freese’s head for a RBI single to make it 2-0 Rays.

Trevor Williams, who pitched into the 8th inning for the first time in his Major League career, was pulled for Juan Nicasio after this.

Jun 27, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 27, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Alex Cobb popped out to Josh Bell on a bunt attempt for the first out of the inning. Nicasio then got a groundout, and Chris Stewart threw out Mallex Smith attempting to steal second base to end the inning.

Tuesday night was arguably the best start of Trevor Williams’ career. He pitched into the 8th inning for the first time in his career, and he allowed just 2 runs on 6 hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out 7, which tied his career high.

As was said above, Williams was victimized by some very tough luck on Tuesday night. He easily could have kept the Rays off the board with a better bounce or two. In his last 9 starts Williams has now allowed 22 earned runs (3.93 ERA) on 47 hits, 3 home runs, 9 walks, and 36 strikeouts in 50 1/3 innings pitched.

In the top of the 9th inning, Daniel Hudson entered the game for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hudson pitched a much needed 1-2-3 inning. After striking out the first two hitters of the inning, Gregory Polanco would make a great sliding grab to retire Logan Morrison to end the inning.

In a perplexing move by Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash, Alex Colome would replace Alex Cobb in the bottom of the 9th inning. This move would prove to backfire.

Colome would hit ex-Ray John Jaso with a pitch, in the dreadlocks, to start the inning. This brought the tying run to the plate. Then with 1 out, Josh Harrison hit a double off the Clemente Wall to put runners on second and third.

On Tuesday night, Clint Hurdle returned Andrew McCutchen to third in the lineup and it would pay off. With 1 out in the bottom of the 9th, the baddest dude in the league ripped a double down the third base line scoring Jaso and Harrison to tie the game at 2.

After Josh Bell was intentionally walked, David Freese flew out to right field for the second out of the inning. Following a walk by Gregory Polanco, Jordy Mercer flew out to left field to end the inning and send the game to extra innings.

Felipe Rivero pitched the 10th inning for the Pirates. Unfortunately, poor defense and an off night with his control would burn Rivero.

After a Souza Jr. singled to start the inning, Wilson Ramos hit a ground ball to David Freese. Freese would boot the ball, however, deflecting it into the outfield. Adam Frazier then very poorly misplayed the ball in the outfield allowing Souza Jr. to score. It ended as an error on Freese, Ramos on second base, and the Rays leading 3-2.

After Felipe Rivero walked Tim Beckham, he would uncork a wild pitch. Adeiny Hechavarria then hit a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2 Rays. Rivero then got a fly out and a strikeout to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 10th inning, Tommy Hunter took over for the Rays. To start the inning, he struck out pinch hitter Elias Diaz. He then got John Jaso to pop out and Adam Frazier to fly out to end the game.

Next: What Has Changed In Polanco's Swing?

Tuesday night’s loss was a tough pill to swallow for the Pirates. After rallying to tie the game in the bottom of the 9th inning the Pirates appeared to have seized the game’s momentum, but then some defensive blunders would work to undo them in the top of the 10th inning leading to a loss.

Game 2 of this 3 game series is scheduled for 7:05 PM at PNC Park tomorrow night. Ivan Nova will start for the Pirates, while the Rays will going with rookie Blake Snell. This will be Snell’s first start after being recalled from Triple-A. Before his demotion, Snell had essentially been the Rays’ version of Tyler Glasnow.