Pittsburgh Pirates: Bats Go Silent, Rich Hill Struggles, Padres Take Game Two

The Padres were able to capture their first win over the Pirates tonight as they took the second game of this three game set by a final score of 5-1.
Jul 25, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado (left) walks
Jul 25, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado (left) walks / Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates dropped their first game of the season to the San Diego Padres as they went 1-9 with runners in scoring position in a 5-1 loss

It was an overall rough night for the Pittsburgh Pirates, especially after a win last night that seemed like it could have given this team a much needed push. Rich Hill couldn't even finish 5 innings as the offense could not get anything done with runners in scoring position and plenty of chances to either tie this game up or take the lead.

The Pirates drop to 44-57 on the year with this loss, and this loss makes them 10-27 since June 11th.

Henry Davis provides a spark

The Pirates looked to win yet another series against the Padres; and San Diego was seeking just their first win over the Pirates this season. After a clean first inning from both pitchers, it would be the Pirates jumping out to an early 1-0 lead in the top half of the second inning. After a Carlos Santana walk, Pirates rookie Henry Davis lined a double into the gap that would score Santana from first. 

Henry Davis is slashing .292/.370/.625 over his last seven games, which is good for a .995 OPS, along with two home runs and three RBI. Truly a huge piece to this Pirate lineup that was needed badly. It seemed as if the Pirates were ready to potentially take over this game even with Blake Snell on the mound for the Padres. The Pirates, while they lost their recent series to the Angels, have scored 21 runs in their last four games.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t long after the RBI double from Hank that the Padres decided to strike back. A hanging 2-1 breaking ball from Rich Hill that was all but gone as Manny Machado drove his 20th home run into the stands. Tie game. Next up, Xander Bogaerts laced a single following the Machado home run that eventually led to a Gary Sanchez RBI single; and just like that it was 2-1 Padres. Just minutes after the Pirates seemed to be getting things started on the right foot. 

As the game went on through the bottom of the fifth, Hill found himself in a bases loaded, one-out jam himself. After giving up his seventh hit of the night, Hill’s start was over after just 4.1 innings of work.

Hill’s start could’ve been a lot better, especially as a potential trade target for some teams with the deadline coming up in just a few days. 4.1 innings while giving up two runs on seven hits and striking out three just won’t get things done. That goes for just about any team.

Yerry De Los Santos' strong outing

After Hill exited the game; it was Yerry De Los Santos escaping the jam and keeping the Bucs in the game heading into the sixth. De Los Santos strikes out Bogaerts and has Campusano ground out to Triolo and holding the Padres to just a 2-1 lead. Yerry De Los Santos was a bright spot in an overall quiet game for the Pirates. While the offense couldn’t get much done, De Los Santos made sure to keep the Bucs in striking distance. He gave the Pirates two great innings while allowing just one hit and striking out two Padres hitters.

Struggles with runners in scoring position

After it seemed that Snell was settling in and ready to shut down the Pirate offense, the Bucs weren’t out of it just yet. After back to back walks to Gonzales and Peguero, Austin Hedges dribbles an infield single pass Snell for bases loaded with one out in the fifth. However, Snell bounced back and was able to escape the jam to hold the Bucs at bay. For the Pirates, this wouldn't be the only time that they would place themselves in a situation like this. The Pirates had many, many chances to keep themselves in this game, but could not capitalize.

In the seventh inning, the Pirates found themselves in yet another potential situation where they could tie the game up, or even take the lead again. After Endy Rodriguez pinch-hit for Austin Hedges, he immediately captured an opposite field single, followed by a Connor Joe walk. Unfortunately, this was yet another opportunity wasted after Bryan Reynolds and Andrew McCutchen both flew out to Juan Soto.

Alika Williams makes his debut

In the bottom half of the seventh inning, the Pirates made a defensive substitution that allowed recently called up infielder Alika Williams to enter the game at shortstop. The 24-year-old Williams was making his debut at shortstop in a close 2-1 game late. Immediately after getting placed into the game, Williams and Rodriguez connected on a nice play at second base that caught Ha-Seong Kim stealing.

Not only did Williams make that great tag, he went on to have an 11 pitch at-bat against the Padres closer Josh Hader in the top of the ninth. Alika WIlliams, after battling off so many pitches against the elite lefty on the mound, he was able to work his first career walk in the Majors.

Angel Perdomo, Derek Shelton ejected

Just seconds after that slick play from Williams, Juan Soto would take Angel Perdomo yard for his 20th on the season. This gave the Padres a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh. On the very next pitch, Perdomo seemed to have lost his cool and drilled Manny Machado in the back with a 98 MPH fastball that almost certainly seemed intentional. Machado made a slow walk down the first base line as the umpires discussed how to call the situation. Perdomo and Machado were glaring at each other as Santana tried to cool down what was going on. After umpires had a discussion, Angel Perdomo was ejected from the game, followed by manager Derek Shelton after he tried to argue the ejection.

After everyone cooled down, Dauri Moreta took over for Perdomo after that altercation and finished out the inning. After the Pirates blanked in the top half of the eighth inning, it was all Padres after just two batters. Luis Campusano doubled and was followed by Gary Sanchez hitting his 10th home run to extend the Padres lead to 5-1 in the bottom of the eighth. Dauri Moreta has had his struggles recently, with a 7.11 ERA over his last 15 games in 12.2 innings pitched with a 1.34 WHIP.

Next up

Tomorrow for the Pirates, it'll be righty Johan Oviedo (3-11, 4.77 ERA) on the mound for the rubber match of the series against the Padres. For San Diego, they'll be sending Seth Lugo (4-4, 3.72 ERA) on the bump to face off against Oviedo. First pitch at Petco Park between the Pirates and Padres is set for 4:10 PM ET.

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