Pittsburgh Pirates Capture Third Straight Win

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 6: Gregory Polanco
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 6: Gregory Polanco /

The Pittsburgh Pirates have now won 3 games in a row

Thursday night’s series finale between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies got off to a late start. This was due to a near 1-hour rain delay at the beginning of the game. However, this rain delay did not deter the Pirates from capturing a series victory.

The Pittsburgh Pirates captured a 6-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday night. With the win, the Bucs won the 4 game series between the two teams this week. Additionally, the Pirates are now 40-46 this season.

The Philadelphia Phillies drew first blood on Thursday night. Their first run came in the bottom of the 3rd inning on one of the strangest plays anyone will ever see.

With 1 out and catcher Andrew Knapp on first base, Elias Diaz attempted a pickoff throw down to first base. The decision to throw was a very poor one by Diaz, however, Josh Bell did him no favors.

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Bell was not on the bag and Diaz’s throw flew up the first base line. This allowed the slow footed Knapp to score all the way from first base. This gave the Phillies an early 1-0 lead.

In the top of the 4th inning, the Pittsburgh Pirates would take the lead.

Andrew McCutchen singled to start the inning. Then, Josh Bell hit his 16th home run of the season to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead. This home run tied him with McCutchen for the team lead in home runs, as well as breaking Ralph Kiner‘s franchise rookie record for home runs before the All-Star Break.

After David Freese was retired, Gregory Polanco stepped to the plate. Polanco would launch his 7th home run into the stands to make it 3-1 Pirates. Polanco’s home run was an absolute missile that left his bat at 111 miles per hour.

Through 6 innings, Chad Kuhl was excellent. He allowed just the 1 unearned run on 3 hits, 3 walks, and 2 strikeouts. However, the Pirate starter would get into trouble in the bottom of the 7th inning.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 6: Starting pitcher Chad Kuhl
PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 6: Starting pitcher Chad Kuhl /

With 1 out, Maikel Franco singled and Tommy Joseph doubled. This gave the Phillies runners on second and third with just 1 out. Aaron Altherr then singled to score both runners, tying the game at 3. However, Altherr was thrown out at second base by Jose Osuna on the play. This was Osuna’s third outfield assist of the game.

All in all, Kuhl pitched a strong game. He allowed 3 runs, 2 of which were earned, on 6 hits, 3 walks, and 3 strikeouts. This was Kuhl’s second consecutive strong start.

In the top of the 8th inning, the Pittsburgh Pirates would retake the lead. With 1 out, Andrew McCutchen and Josh Bell hit back-to-back doubles. This gave the Pirates a 4-3 lead.

Then with 2 outs, Gregory Polanco singled to score Bell making it 5-3 Pirates. This was Polanco’s fourth hit of the night, as he finished the game 4-for-4 with a home run. Elias Diaz would then collect a RBI double to make it 6-3 Pirates.

Tony Watson was then called upon to pitch the bottom of the 8th inning. Watson would do something he does not do very often anymore as he retired the Phillies in order. This kept the score at 6-3 Pirates.

Juan Nicasio pitched the bottom of the 9th inning for the Pirates. As rain poured down in Philly, Nicasio continued his great season by retiring the Phillies in order to seal the 6-3 victory for the Pirates.

Next: A Look at Bradenton's Bullpen

Tomorrow, the Pittsburgh Pirates start their final series before the All-Star Break. The Pirates will play a 3 game weekend series at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs. Trevor Williams is scheduled to start for the Pirates and Eddie Butler for the Cubs. First pitch is slated for 2:20 PM.