Chad Kuhl, Offense Lead Pittsburgh Pirates to Series Victory in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 06: Jordy Mercer #10 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is congratulated by Francisco Cervelli #29 following a home run against the Milwaukee Brewers during the second inning of a game at Miller Park on May 6, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 06: Jordy Mercer #10 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is congratulated by Francisco Cervelli #29 following a home run against the Milwaukee Brewers during the second inning of a game at Miller Park on May 6, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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The Pittsburgh Pirates are now 7-3-1 in the 11 series they have played this season

76. 9. 4. Final. 0

Following a frustrating loss on Saturday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates bounced back to defeat the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday afternoon. Following a 9-0 victory over the Brewers, the Pirates are now 19-16 overall this season and 10-3 against the National League Central Division. The Bucs are also undefeated in series against divisional opponents.

This was a great rebound series for the Pirates after a complete disaster of a series in Washington D.C. earlier this week that saw the Pirates get swept by the Nationals. The fact this series victory came at Miller Park, which has long been a house of horrors for the Pirates, just added to the satisfaction of a series victory.

After struggling against arguably Milwaukee’s worst starting pitcher Jholys Chacin on Saturday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates would get to arguably Milwaukee’s best starting pitcher – Chase Anderson – early and often on Sunday afternoon.

On the second pitch of the game, Adam Frazier hit his first career leadoff home run. After Josh Bell drew a 2-out walk, Corey Dickerson hit a double into the left-center gap. On this hit third base coach Joey Cora aggressively waived Bell home. This gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead.

With 1-out in the top of the 2nd inning, Jordy Mercer would finally hit his first home run of the season. This ran the score to 3-0 Pirates.

The Pirate offense would continue to roll along in the top of the 6th inning, knocking Anderson out of the game.

After Starling Marte tripled to start the inning, Dickerson drove him home to make the score 4-0 Pirates and end Anderson’s day. Anderson lasted 5 1/3 innings on Sunday afternoon and was charged with 5 earned runs on 5 hits, a pair of walks, and a pair of home runs allowed.

Jacob Barnes would replace Anderson, but the results did not improve for the Brewers. In fact, the Brew Crew train would fall completely off the rails.

After a Francisco Cervelli base hit moved Dickerson to third, Colin Moran would reach on an infield hit. Moran’s infield hit scored Dickerson making the score 5-0 Pirates. Mercer then picked up his second RBI of the day driving in Cervelli to make the score 6-0 Pirates.

Pirate starting pitcher Chad Kuhl then stepped to the plate looking to lay down a sacrifice bunt. Barnes would field the bunt and promptly whizz it past Milwaukee first baseman Ryan Braun. Kuhl was credited with an infield hit, while Moran scored on the error by Barnes.

When the dust finally settled from the top of the 6th inning, the Pirates led 7-0.

Speaking of Kuhl, he was excellent on the mound on Sunday afternoon. His curveball and slider were both great pitches for him on Sunday and he turned in one of the finest performances of his Major League career. Kuhl tossed 7 shutout innings, allowing just a single base hit while walking a pair. Kuhl also struck out a career-high tying 8.

MILWAUKEE, WI – MAY 06: Chad Kuhl #39 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on May 6, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI – MAY 06: Chad Kuhl #39 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on May 6, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Additionally, the lone hit he allowed was erased by a 4-6-3 double play.

Prior to Sunday’s start, Kuhl had struggled this season. With his future in the rotation possibly in danger due to the emergence of Nick Kingham and Joe Musgrove approaching a return to the rotation, Kuhl was dominant on Sunday afternoon. If he can harness what he had on Sunday afternoon on a regular basis he can be one of the team’s best starting pitchers with his power fastball and curveball/slider combination.

Josh Bell would crush a much needed home run in the top of the 7th inning. The line drive solo shot made the score 8-0 Pirates. Hopefully, this hit will get Bell, who has struggled immensely this season, going at the plate.

Richard Rodriguez pitched in relief of Kuhl and continued to dominate. Rodriguez retired six of the seven batters he faced with each out he recorded coming via the strikeout. In 11 1/3 innings pitched this season, Rodriguez now owns 21 strikeouts.

A Gregory Polanco sacrifice fly in the top of the 8th inning set the final at 9-0 Pirates.

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Sunday’s game was one of the best games the Pirates have played this season. The team got a great start from Chad Kuhl, the offense hit the ball over the fence three times while scoring early and often, and the team had a perfect game defensively.

After a day off on Monday the Pirates will travel to Chicago to finish off their nine-game road trip with a two-game series against the Whtie Sox. The first game of the series is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. on Tuesday night. Ivan Nova is scheduled to start for the Pirates, while the White Sox plan to send Lucas Giolito to the mound.

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