The Pittsburgh Pirates took the final game and the series against the San Diego Padres
On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Pirates finished a 13-games in 13 days stretch with a win against the San Diego Padres, where they went 7-6 and improved their season total to 24-20 despite a flurry of injuries and mishaps.
The Pirates were opposed by right-hander Cal Quantrill, who made his third Major League start, bringing a 2.71 FIP and 3.60 ERA into the start.
The Pirates got off to an early start in the run production department with Josh Bell roping a 2-out single into right that scored Adam Frazier who led off the 1st inning with a single. After another single by Bryan Reynolds, third baseman Colin Moran knocked a long fly ball to center field that carried out for a 4-0 lead.
That lead would be padded in the fifth inning by Melky Cabrera, who reached 1,900 hits. This came after a lead-off double by Frazier who scored on Cabrera’s single. This would prove to be all the Pirates needed out of the bats.
On the pitching side for the Pirates was right-hander Joe Musgrove, who carried a 2.90 FIP and 3.59 ERA into the start. Musgrove was magical over the first six innings of the game, facing the minimum amount of batters and only relenting one walk and a single. Both runners were called out on a pick-off and double play respectively.
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When the seventh inning came around all signs pointed to a complete game for Musgrove, however the bats came out for the Padres. After a Greg Garcia double, Alex Dickerson drove him in with a hard single to center field. Following a mound visit and a weak pop out by Manny Machado, Musgrove missed the bag at second on a weak hit in front of home plate, a poor decision as he should have taken the easy out at first, bringing Hunter Renfroe up with two on and one out. Renfroe would bring the game within one on a 2-0 count with a 423 foot shot to center.
Musgrove was then pulled for reliever Geoff Hartlieb, who walked a batter before ending the inning without a hit. Musgrove gave up 4 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 1 walk and 4 strike outs over 6.1 innings, bringing his ERA on the season to 3.67.
In the eight inning, Reynolds roped a double into right field with one out followed by a single to center by Moran, his 4th RBI of the day, to extend the Pirates lead to 6-4. After an infield single by Elias Diaz, who had three hits on the day, Cole Tucker and Starling Marte followed with back to back ground outs to end the inning.
The Pirates had Francisco Liriano come in to handle the bottom half of the 8th inning. Liriano got Ian Kinsler to foul out before walking Manuel Margot, bringing the tying run to the plate. After a quick chat from the Pirates’ pitching coach, Ray Searage, Liriano made one pitch that led to a double-play to end the inning.
After a quiet top-half for the Pirates in the 9th, Felipe Vazquez was called upon to bring the hammer down. Despite giving up a single to Renfroe with two outs, Vazquez was as dominant as ever, mowing down the three other batters he faced to seal the win for the Bucs.
This victory capped off an incredible road trip for the team. The Pirates played 11 games, in as many days, in three different cities. Despite starting the trip with a 17-4 loss against the Cardinals, the Pirates still went 7-4 on the trip.
On the trip the Pirates played three good teams in St. Louis, Arizona, and San Diego. Combine that with all of the injuries, and this may prove to be the most gratifying road trip of the season for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Pirates have an off day tomorrow before returning to action Tuesday at PNC Park where they will begin a 6-game home stand against the Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Chris Archer (5.58 ERA, 5.09 FIP) will take on German Marquez (3.80 ERA, 3.30 FIP) to begin the three game series against the Rockies.