Pittsburgh Pirates Rally Capped Off By Carlos Santana Walk Off Home Run For 4th Straight Win

They seemed down for the count, but the Pittsburgh Pirates never gave up
Milwaukee Brewers v Pittsburgh Pirates
Milwaukee Brewers v Pittsburgh Pirates / Lauren Leigh Bacho/GettyImages

After a poor top of the 7th inning the Pittsburgh Pirates looked down and out, but they never gave up and capped off their rally with a walk off home run by Carlos Santana

Coming off a series sweep of the San Diego Padres, the Pittsburgh Pirates were looking to make it four wins in a row when they welcomed the Milwaukee Brewers to PNC Park on Friday night. Things looked bleak for a lot of the night, but the Battlin' Buccos were able to come through for their fourth consecutive win.

Multiple times the Pirates appeared to be down for the count. To their credit they never gave up, kept fighting, and rallied for an 8-7 walk off victory. With the win, the Pirates snapped a nine-game losing streak against the NL Central to improve to 39-42 on the season.

This was truly a remarkable victory for the Pirates. Again, not to be repetitive, but more than once they felt down and out. But this group never gave up and kept chipping away. Also, a shoutout to Carmen Mlodzinski who got his first career win after pitching 2 scoreless innings.

Poor 3rd inning leads to bad Osvaldo Bido start

Making his fourth career MLB start, Osvaldo Bido took the ball for the Pirates. Through the first 2 innings of the game Bido held the Brewers hitless and looked strong, just as he had in his first three starts. In the 3rd inning, however, things came apart for Bido.

Bido hit the light hitting Joey Wiemer with a pitch to start the inning and Raimel Tapia reached on a bunt base hit, a bunt that may have rolled foul had Jared Triolo let the ball go. Christian Yelich doubled, William Contreras reached on a fielder's choice where Triolo probably should have taken the guaranteed out at first base, and Rowdy Tellez singled. After Willy Adames hit a sacrifice fly, the Brewers led 4-0.

Bido pitched two a pair of batters in the 4th inning before his day ended. In the worst start of his young MLB career, Bido allowed 4 runs on four hits, a walk, and no strikeouts in 3.1 innings pitched. He struggled with command and generated just one swing-and-miss. Bido failing to generate any strikeouts and just one swing-and-miss against the team with the second-most strikeouts in the National League is a major red flag.

Pirate offense can't take advantage of a struggling starter

For well over a month Brewer starting pitcher Freddy Peralta has been bad. In his last eight starts dating back to May 15th, Peralta owned a 5.98 ERA, 5.98 FIP, 10.5% walk rate, and he allowed 10 home runs in 40.2 innings pitched.

Outside of the 4th inning, the Pirate offense did nothing against Peralta.

Andrew McCutchen led off the 4th inning with his 10th home run of the season. Then with one-out, Nick Gonzales doubled in a pair of runs that cut the Milwaukee lead to 4-3. Peralta then buckled down and retired the final two batters of the inning, ending the Pirate threat.

Outside of the 4th inning you never would have known that Peralta was struggling as much as he was entering this start. He retired the Pirates in order in the 1st, 3rd, and 5th inning. He also struck out the only batter he faced in the 6th.

All told, Peralta allowed 3 runs on three hits, two walks, a home run, and eight strikeouts in 5.1 innings pitched. Peralta made Pirate batters look silly and uncomfortable in the box throughout his start, generating a healthy 16 swings-and-misses.

Brewers bust it open in the 7th.... but...

After Bido exited the game the Pirate bullpen went to work. At first, it was great work by the Pirate relief corp.

Ryan Borucki allowed a hit in a scoreless inning of work. Yerry De Los Santos issued a walk in a scoreless inning. Angel Perdomo struck a batter out and benefitted from a caught stealing to get the final two outs of the 6th inning.

Then in the 7th inning the first two batters of the inning reached against Perdomo. This was aided by a Gonzales error. Perdomo was then lifted for Dauri Moreta who got a pop out and a strikeout. Looking like Moreta may escape the jam with the score still 4-3, Owen Miller doubled just over the glove of a leaping Triolo. Brice Turang followed with a 2-run double of his own, making the score 7-3 Brewers.

Of the 3 runs Milwaukee scored in the 7th only 1 was earned. The 2 runs charged to Perdomo were unearned due to the Gonzales error. The Gonzales error and Moreta allowing back-to-back hard hit balls with two outs proved to be the Pirate undoing in the inning.

... the Pirate offense rallies!

The worst part about the 3-run top of the 7th inning is that the Pirate offense was able to plate a run in the bottom half of the inning when McCutchen singled home Marcano. This could have been a game-tying hit had the Pirates posted a zero in the top half of the inning. Jack Suwinski's run-scoring single in the 8th inning could have been the go-ahead, potentially game-winning hit.

Well, at least it seemed that way.

In the 9th inning, the Pirate offense continued to chip away.

Pinch hitting for Jason Delay to start the inning Ji Hwan Bae singled to snap an 0-for-26 skid. With one out in the inning McCutchen doubled off the center field wall. His third hit of the night put the tying run in scoring position and cut the Brewer lead to 7-6.

After Henry Davis struck out Carlos Santana stepped to the plate. The switch-hitting veteran crushed a Matt Bush pitch that he launched deep into the Pittsburgh night. Santana's walk off blast over the Celemente Wall wound up in the Allegheny River, giving him 9 home runs of the season and the Pirates an 8-7 victory.

Santana's blast included a great dance coming around third base. Enjoy it all below.

Next up

Johan Oviedo (4.06 ERA, 3.85 FIP) is slated to start for the Pirates on Saturday afternoon. Pirate batters will face a tall task as Corbin Burnes (4.10 ERA, 4.32 FIP) will start for the Brewers. Even though Burnes has not pitched to his standard this season, he is still one of the best pitchers in the NL. First pitched from PNC Park is scheduled for 4:05 PM ET.

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