The Pittsburgh Pirates dug themselves into an early hole with sloppy play and eventually fell to the Philadelphia Phillies 7-4 on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park in the opener of a three-game series.
It took Pirates starter Bryse Wilson 43 pitches to get through a lengthy first inning. After a pair of miscues by second baseman Rodolfo Castro, the Phillies loaded the bases with nobody out. In his first at-bat since coming off the injured list, Bryce Harper delivered a two-run single.
J.T. Realmuto drove in a run after bouncing into a fielder’s choice, and Nick Castellanos tacked on another for Philadelphia with a run-scoring single.
Wilson (2-8) was taken out of the game after the first inning and replaced by Zach Thompson.
In the second, Rhys Hoskins singled to center, scoring Kyle Schwarber. The Phillies scored another run on another defensive miscue when Kevin Newman couldn’t handle a groundball at shortstop off the bat of Alec Bohm.
Down 6-0, the Bucs relied on the longball to try and claw their way back.
After Newman’s second hit of the game, Bryan Reynolds got the Pirates on the board with a two-run shot in the top of the fourth inning.
The following inning, Castro crushed a hanging breaking ball over the left field fence to cut the Phillies lead in half at 6-3. Castro picked up a pair of hits on the night.
Phillies starter Bailey Falter (2-3) allowed three runs in six innings. He allowed five hits and struck out six.
Ben Gamel led off the seventh inning with a solo shot to right, giving the Pirates their third homer of the game.
The Phillies tacked on an insurance run in the eighth thanks to a Bryson Stott RBI-single.
With the loss, the Pirates have dropped six straight games and dropped 12 of 14 since sweeping the Milwaukee Brewersto begin the month of August.
The Pirates will look to end their skid on Saturday night. Tyler Beede (1-3, 4.13 ERA) will pitch for the Pirates, squaring off with Kyle Gibson (8-5, 4.30 ERA).
- More Poor Defense: After committing three errors in their 14-2 crushing defeat to the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, the Pirates committed two more errors and had other defensive miscues Friday night. For a team struggling as much as the Pirates have been lately, they can’t let the little things kill them. The defensive issues have led to a handful of runs for their opponents the last two games, and essentially have sealed their fate.
- Thompson Saves The Day: With Wilson only being able to pitch one inning and the Pirates going with another bullpen game tomorrow, it looked like the Bucs’ bullpen would be in some hot water. Thompson saved the bullpen by tossing five strong innings of relief. He allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits, no walks and struck out a pair.
- Rudy, Rudy, Rudy: Since being recalled from Triple-A earlier this month, Castro has established himself as one of the more reliable players in Pittsburgh’s lineup. With two more hits, Castro has recorded 17 hits in 55 at-bats (.309) with seven extra-base hits, including three home runs, in 16 games.