The Pittsburgh Pirates made sure Rich Hill didn’t flirt with immortality this time around at PNC Park as they jumped on the veteran left-hander for two quick runs in the first inning.
However, that was just about all the offense managed as they lost to the Boston Red Sox 8-3 on Wednesday night. The Pirates (45-72) had their losing streak reach six games and they also fell for the eighth time in their last nine games.
The last time Hill pitched at PNC Park, he took a no-hitter into the 10th inning for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 23, 2017. Josh Harrison ended the no-no bid by leading off the 10th with a home run.
On Wednesday, Kevin Newman led off the first inning with a single off the 42-year-old Hill. Bryan Reynolds followed by hitting a 109-mph rocket to center field for a two-run home run.
Then the Pittsburgh Pirates’ bats went silent until Ben Gamel hit an RBI single in the ninth with his team down six runs. Reynolds had two of the Pirates’ six hits.
Rookie right-hander Roansy Contreras lost in his return to the major leagues following a five-week stint at Triple-A Indianapolis that was designed to control his innings pitched.
Contreras (3-3) allowed four runs on six hits in six innings with four walks and three strikeouts. He had been sent to the minor leagues July 7 to limit his innings pitched.
Given a 2-0 lead, Contreras gave it right back in the Red Sox’s three-run second inning. Christian Arroyo doubled in two runs and scored the go-ahead run on Kike Hernandez’s sacrifice fly.
Boston (59-59) added another run off Contreras in the fifth when Alex Verdugo’s RBI double to make 4-2.
Eric Stout walked Rob Refsnyder with the bases loaded in the eighth as the Red Sox tacked on another run. They broke it open with a three-run ninth as Arroyo had a run-scoring single and Kevin Plawecki followed with a two-run single.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will try to avoid being swept in the three-game series that concludes at 7:05 p.m. Thursday. JT Brubaker (2-10, 4.45) will start for the Pirates against Nathan Eovaldi (5-3, 4.45).
Brubaker is 0-3 with a 4.88 ERA in six starts since the beginning of July.