Two balks and horrendous defense, combined with little to no offense all led to yet another loss as the Pittsburgh Pirates dropped game two of their three-game series against the Texas Rangers
The Pittsburgh Pirates still have yet to win a series in the month of May. The team is in the middle of a brutal 4-15 stretch in which it seems nothing has gone their way, whether it be offense, defense, or pitching. The Bucs now sit at 25-23 on the season.
Rich Hill's unlucky start
Rich Hill had some brutal luck during this game. In an outing in which he struck out 9 batters and allowed 5 earned runs, his final line does not reflect how well he actually pitched. An awful defensive play by Jack Suwinski in the 1st inning resulted in a triple by Ranger second baseman Marcus Semien, which was then followed by an infield RBI single by Corey Seager. Later in the same inning, a horrendous balk call on Hill allowed Seager to come home to score. One of the worst balk calls in recent memory.
Texas would start to hit Hill in the 6th inning, where he allowed a 4-pitch walk, a double, then a line drive RBI single. The Rangers would go on to score 3 more runs in the 6th inning, 1 of those runs on yet another balk. This one is by Jose Hernandez who was brought in to relieve Hill, (this one was actually a balk.) This is the first time since 2011 that a team has allowed two runs on balks by two different pitchers. Simply unacceptable.
A spiritless performance by the offense.
The offense was basically nonexistent as they only managed 1 run on 6 hits. The lone run was driven in by Bryan Reynolds, who doubled off the wall to drive in Andrew McCutchen. Speaking of Cutch, he had another great offensive game in which he collected 2 hits and a walk. He has really excelled out of the leadoff spot.
Ji Hwan Bae had yet another forgettable game as he was picked off and then thrown out on the bases. It is time for Rodolfo Castro to get the majority of the starts at second base, regardless of the pitcher being left or right-handed. Five Pirates would go hitless in Suwinski, Sanatana, Hayes, Marcano, and Hedges.
The Pirates will go for their first series win of May as they will trot out Johan Oviedo (4.69 ERA, 4.01 FIP) against Martin Pérez (4.01 ERA, 4.70 FIP) for the Rangers. Oviedo is looking to keep his momentum off his last two starts in which he has pitched 11 innings and only allowed 2 runs. The start time is set for 12:35 PM ET at PNC Park.