Steven Brault walked the first Cubby up, then rolled, mainly thanks to a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out DP. Jose Quintana tossed a clean opener, helped by a couple of hot shots at people. It was a clean second for Brault, but the Bucs used a little two-out lightning to get on the board when Gregory singled off a glove, went to second on a wild pitch and came around on Erik Gonzalez’s two-bagger. The Baby Bruins worked another leadoff walk in the third but never got a runner to second. Q fanned two Buccos in their half. Steven kept tempting fate in the fourth; he plunked the first two Cubs, Anthony Rizzo and Wilson Contreras, who, judging by lip flapping, were not very pleased. But he still dodged bullets, getting an around-the-horn DP and K to close it seamlessly. Pittsburgh did nada. In the fifth, Chicago got a walk and single, but didn’t advance anyone past second base. Gregory scored again after he walked and circled the bases on Fraze’s one-out double; Adam was TOOTBLAN when the relay was cut trying to scoot to third, but he it did make it 2-0.
|Steven’s been solid all year – image Pittsburgh Pirates
Chi-town managed a single but posed no threat in the sixth. Adbert Alzolay took the hill, and a Key rap and Joey O walk put him in a one-gone jam that a tapper and whiff got him out of. The Windy City gang went down in order in the seventh. Kyle Ryan got the ball and spun a quiet frame. Chris Stratton toed the rubber in the eighth after another strong two-hit outing by Steven. A two-out single brought on southpaw Sam Howard to face lefty Rizzo. It was a no-brain move; Rizzo was hitting .190 w/no extra base hits against lefties this year, so of course he homered off a 2-0 slider to knot the score. Ryan Tepera climbed the slope. He walked Key with two gone, with Joey O due up; Colin Moran hit for him and that brought on lefty Andrew Chafin who induced a routine fly. Ric Rod came in for the ninth and served up a K, single and DP ball. And got the win; another unlikely hero, Jake Stallings, smacked a high strike fastball into the seats a few feet inside the pole to walk off a 3-2 Bucco win. Raise the Roger.
They were sho’ ’nuff due. Pity that Steven didn’t get the W, but they needed to win one pretty badly no matter who got the credit.
- Ke’Bryan Hayes and Gregory Polanco reached base twice via a knock and walk; the Bucs had their usual five hits on the night.
- Per Joe Block via Stats by STATS, Steven Brault is the first Pirates pitcher with consecutive starts of 7+ innings and two or fewer hits allowed since Doug Drabek in 1990.
- Per various reports, Oneil Cruz was driving under the influence and past the Dominican curfew when he crashed into a motorcycle, killing three people. We’ll have more details tomorrow.
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