After getting called back up from Triple-A, Roansy Contreras made his first start of the season for the Pirates on Tuesday night against the Rockies at PNC Park. The contest also marked the Major League debut of Cal Mitchell, who had his contract selected from Triple-A before the start of the game.
Both Contreras and Mitchell played a big role in putting the Pirates in position to win, but Connor Joe’s 10th inning single put the Rockies ahead 2-1, and they held on to win by that score.
With Sam Hilliard starting the extra frame on second base and David Bednar pitching, Joe bounced a ball up the middle in between Rodolfo Castro and Josh VanMeter, allowing Hilliard to score easily. Daniel Bard closed the door for Colorado.
After a Diego Castillo double in the fifth inning, Mitchell drove him in with a base hit to centerfield, collecting his first hit and his first RBI in his second at-bat of his career. The knock gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead.
1st ML hit ✅
1st ML RBI ✅
1-0 @Pirates lead ✅
— AT&T SportsNet™ PIT (@ATTSportsNetPIT) May 25, 2022
Mitchell had a nice debut for the Bucs, putting together good at-bats and he looked good defensively in right field. He made a nice leaping catch against the Clemente Wall.
Garrett Hampson pinch ran for Elias Diaz in the eighth, who reached base on a Castro error, and Ryan McMahon delivered a two-out single off of Chris Stratton to tie the game 1-1
On the mound for the first time as a starter this season for the Pirates, Contreras flashed his power fastball and featured his off-speed pitches that seemed to get better as the outing went on. In total, the right-hander worked five innings, allowed three hits, walked two, struck out five and held the Rockies scoreless. 56 of his 84 pitches went for strikes.
He struggled a bit at times locating his slider, but found the handle on it and picked up a pair of strikeouts in the fifth inning and induced a weak groundout on his curveball to end his outing.
The Pirates will go for the series win on Wednesday afternoon. Zach Thompson (2-4, 4.88 ERA) will look to continue his strong stretch. Ryan Feltner (0-1, 7.20 ERA) will make his fourth career start for Colorado.
- New Kids On The Block: Both Contreras and Mitchell put the Pirates in strong position to win this game thanks to Contreras’ five shutout innings and the go-ahead RBI-single off the bat of Mitchell in the fifth. On top of their performances, Castro made a terrific diving catch to rob McMahon in the second inning and later collected a base hit, drew a walk and stole a base. It has to be refreshing for the Pirates and their fans to see a glimpse into the future with some excitement after a lot of losing the last couple seasons.
- Duane Undergood Jr.: Duane Underwood Jr. looked really sharp in his two innings of work. He was touching 98 mph with his fastball and featured a sharp breaking ball. In his last three outings, Underwood hasn’t been charged with an earned run in six innings and has only allowed two base hits. Opponents are hitting .095 against him (2 for 21) over that span.
- The Offense Has To Come Alive, Right?: The Pirates haven’t scored more than four runs in a game since they scored five in their win over the Dodgers on May 11. Additionally, they only have two games this month in which they have topped five runs (eight vs. Reds on May 7, seven vs. Tigers on May 5). The struggles have been on full display the first two games of this series, as the Bucs have managed just three runs.