Pittsburgh Pirates Drop Game 2 in Toronto

TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 12: Josh Bell
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 12: Josh Bell /

The Pittsburgh Pirates are now 58-59 this season

On Saturday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates were defeated by the Toronto Blue Jays by a score of 7-2. With the loss, the Pirates are now 58-59 on the season. They also now sit 3.5 games out of first place in the National League Central pending the outcome of today’s game between the Cubs and Diamondbacks.

Trevor Williams started for the Pirates on Saturday and struggled with control throughout his start. Also, bad defense once again reared its ugly head for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday afternoon. To top it all off, the offense was stymied by Chris Rowley who was making his Major League debut.

Thanks in large part to horrible umpiring, the Blue Jays scored first.

Jose Bautista drew a walk to start the bottom of the 1st inning. Bautista saw 5 pitches from Trevor Williams, 4 of which should have been strikes, but umpire Jordan Baker saw otherwise and called them balls leading to a walk.

A Justin Smoak single moved Bautista to third base. Bautista then scored on a slow ground ball to second base by Steve Pearce. This gave Toronto an early 1-0 lead.

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Josh Bell started the top of the 2nd inning with his team leading 5th triple. However, after an abysmal David Freese strikeout and a Gregory Polanco line out it looked like the Pirates may squander the opportunity. Thankfully, Jordy Mercer collected a RBI single to score Bell and tie the game at 1.

Kevin Pillar was hit by a 1-2 pitch to start the bottom of the 2nd inning. The light hitting Rob Refsnyder then collected a 2 out single, which was followed by another walk to Bautista. This loaded the bases with 2 outs for Josh Donaldson.

Donaldson then drew a walk off Williams to give Toronto the lead back at 2-1. Williams then struck out Justin Smoak to end the inning.

After retiring 7 batters in a row, Trevor Williams ran into trouble again. He hit Jose Bautista with a pitch to start the bottom of the 5th inning, and then Josh Donaldson collected a base hit. Donaldson’s hit was due to Gregory Polanco getting injured while chasing the fly ball.

Polanco immediately left the game. This marked the second consecutive day a Pirate outfielder left the game due to injury after Andrew McCutchen did so on Friday night. Polanco has already had a pair of disabled list stints this season due to hamstring issues, and it appears a third DL stint is coming tomorrow.

After striking out Justin Smoak looking, Williams issued a walk to Steve Pearce. The 4th walk issued by Williams loaded the bases with 1 out. Kendrys Morales then pinch hit for Raffy Torres.

Williams got Morales to ground out to shortstop. However, while trying to turn the double play second baseman Adam Frazier threw the ball away. This led to the score becoming 4-1 Blue Jays.

Adam Frazier’s defense at second base continues to be unplayable. Yet, for some reason, the Pirates continue to play him at second base.

TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 12: Chris Rowley
TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 12: Chris Rowley /

With 1 out in the top of the 6th inning, Josh Harrison singled and Josh Bell drew a walk. This would bring Chris Rowley’s Major League debut to an end. Dominic Leone would enter the game to replace Rowley.

Leone struck out David Freese for the second out of the inning. In his first at bat of the day, Sean Rodriguez would hit a dribbler out in front of the plate that new catcher Mike Ohlman fired to first base for the third out of the inning.

In his Major League debut Chris Rowley did a great job of stifling the Pirate offense. In 5 1/3 innings pitched he allowed just a single run on 5 hits, a walk, and 3 strikeouts.

Trevor Williams wound up pitching 6 innings on Saturday afternoon. In the end, his poor control proved to be a huge issue on Saturday. He allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 4 hits, a career-high 4 walks, he hit a pair of batters, and he struck out 7.

Leone remained in the game for the Blue Jays for the top of the 7th inning. With 1 out, he allowed a double to John Jaso. Leone would then strike out Francisco Cervelli and Starling Marte to end the inning with the score still 4-1 Toronto.

Joaquin Benoit took over for the Pirates in the bottom of the 7th inning. After allowing consecutive 1 out singles, Benoit got burnt by bad defense. Josh Harrison fielded a slowly hit ground ball off the bat of Mike Ohlman that he should have just eaten. Instead, he made an ill-advised throw to first base that sailed past Josh Bell allowing a pair of runs to score making it 6-1 Blue Jays. A Kevin Pillar sacrifice fly then made it 7-1.

Aaron Loup took over for the Blue Jays in the top of the 8th inning. After allowing a single to Josh Bell and walking David Freese, he was lifted with 2 outs for Ryan Tepera. Tepera would strike out Sean Rodriguez to end the inning.

A.J. Schugel pitched the bottom of the 8th inning for the Pirates. Schugel allowed a base hit, recorded a pair of strikeouts, and posted a zero in the inning.

Jordy Mercer led off the top of the 9th inning with a home run off of new pitcher Leonel Campos. His 11th home run of the season cut the Blue Jay lead to 7-2. Campos would also issue a 2 out walk to Starling Marte, before retiring Adam Frazier to end the game.

Next: Pirates Lose Gosselin on Waivers (yay!!)

The third and final game of this series is at 1:07 on Sunday afternoon. Chad Kuhl will start for the Pittsburgh Pirates and look to lead the team to a series victory over ex-Pirate left-handed starting pitcher J.A. Happ. Hopefully, Andrew McCutchen will be able to return to the lineup on Sunday.