After falling to a season worse three games under .500 last Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Pirates have gone 4-1 to get back to even
Over the weekend the Pittsburgh Pirates captured their first series victory since mid-May by taking two of three from the Cincinnati Reds. Looking to keep their current 10-game homestand trending in the right direction, the Pirates started a three-game series against the first place Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.
After struggling throughout the month of May and in his first three starts in June, Williams was excellent on Monday night. While there would be just one run scored on Monday, that lone run was scored by the Pirates leading to the team’s fourth win in their past five games. With the win, the team is back to .500 at 36-36 this season.
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Throughout the night Williams was in control, hitting his spots, and he was missing more bats than he had throughout the season. In 7 shutout innings of work, Williams allowed just one hit, he walked two, and he also struck out seven.
Through the first six innings of the game, Chacin was matching zeroes with Williams. But in the bottom of the 7th inning the Pirates finally broke the scoreless tie.
Colin Moran singled to start the inning but was caught stealing after an apparent missed hit and run sign. Francisco Cervelli drew a walk, Josh Bell singled, and the Pirate had runners on the corners with just one out.
The Pirate shortstop continued his recent hot streak by ripping a ball down the left field line for a double. Mercer’s double scored Cervelli and gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead. Pinch hitter David Freese would walk to load the bases before Hader struck out Josh Harrison looking to end the inning.
With Williams out of the game, Kyle Crick took over on the mound for the Pirates. Crick quickly fired a 1-2-3 top of the 8th inning, while recording a strikeout, to keep the score at 1-0 Pirates.
Then in the top of the 9th inning it was Felipe Vazquez time.
Felipe allowed a base hit on a 0-2 pitch to Christian Yelich to start the inning, but Felipe would then put a foot down. He struck out Ryan Braun and Eric Thames, before retiring Hernan Perez on a sharply hit groundball that Bell made a very nice pick on at first base.
And with Felipe’s scoreless 9th inning, the Pirate picked up a 1-0 victory over the first place Brewers.
All of a sudden, the Pirates are playing good baseball once again. The Bucs are now 4-1 in their last five games and recorded their ninth shutout of the season on Monday night. If the Pirate pitching staff continues to perform the way it has the past five games then the wins should start to stockpile once again.
Game two of the series is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday night. Jameson Taillon will look to continue is recent good work (2.94 FIP his last five starts), while the Brewers will send Freddy Peralta to the mound.