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Didi Gregorius’ Three-Run Blast Propels Phillies to 8-6 Win Over Pirates

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Summer may be over but it’s never too late to ride a roller coaster. The Pirates were again able to build an early lead on Friday night against the Phillies, bit the Pirates again blew said lead, and then blew it again. The Bucs held two separate leads in this one, but a Didi Gregorius three-run homer was the dagger for Pittsburgh as the Phillies came back to defeat the Bucs 8-6.

Gregorius walked to the plate to face Chasen Shreve with the Phillies down a run. Gregorius was batting just .148 with two home runs on the season vs. lefties this year. Gregorius blasted a three-run homer off the left-hander to put the Phillies back on top 8-6.

The Pirates have now blown leads of three runs or more in three out of their last four games.

Kyle Gibson was responsible for the game’s first run and not when he was on the mound. He hit his first career home run to left field to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead.

The Pirates erupted for four runs in the fourth inning. Kevin Newman stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and nobody out and smacked a two-RBI double to left field. The next batter, Michael Perez, also plated a pair with a single. The Pirates jumped out to a 4-1 lead.

With one out in the home half of the fourth, Brad Miller hit a solo shot to right field, his 20th of the season, cutting the Pirates lead in half. The Phillies tacked on another in the fifth when Bryce Harper lined one to right that fell in front of Yoshi Tsutsugo to make it a one-run game.

The Phillies were able to tie the game in the sixth when Perez couldn’t contain a breaking ball in the dirt and Andrew McCutchen scored on the wild pitch. Ronald Torreyes gave the Phillies the lead back when he dropped a pinch-hit single into left field. It was his second go-ahead RBI in as many games for Philadelphia.

Wilmer Difo, who has excelled as a pinch-hitter this year, came up to bat for Nick Mears in the seventh and proceeded to smack a go-ahead home run to right field to put the Pirates ahead by a run.

The Pirates had a chance in the eighth and ninth innings but weren’t able to capitalize.

Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 4:05 first pitch. Wil Crowe (4-7, 5.77 ERA) will get the ball for the Bucs and Ranger Suarez (6-5, 1.60 ERA) will go for the Phillies.

Stat of the Game:

  • The bottom of the Pirates’ order carried their weight in this one. In addition to Difo’s pinch-hit home run and Anthony Alford’s walk, the six through eight hitters of Newman, Perez and Hoy Park all recorded hits, and Newman recorded a pair. Park was on base twice after drawing a walk in addition to his base hit. All six of the Pirates’ runs were driven in from the bottom four spots of the order.

Takeaways:

  • Mr. Pinch Hitter: Difo’s home run was his 15th hit of the season as a pinch hitter, which leads all of baseball. It was also his third pinch-hit home run of the season, which is second in baseball behind Pablo Sandoval. As a pinch hitter on the season, Difo is batting .300 (15 for 50) with a double, a triple, three home runs and now 10 RBIs. His slugging percentage on the year when pinch hitting is .540.
  • Hayes’ Hitting Streak: Ke’Bryan Hayes extended his hitting streak to five games with a seventh-inning single to right on Friday. During those five gams, Hayes is batting .333 (8 for 24) with two doubles, a home run and four runs driven in. It’s his second hitting streak of five games during the month of September, as he picked up hits in each of his first five games of the month. It’s also the fifth time this season that Hayes has collected hits in five or more games in a row. 
  • Bradenton Marauders are Champions: In other news, the Pirates Low-A affiliate are league champions after knocking off the Tampa Tarpons three games to none. They won the decisive game on Friday night by a score of 11-3. Eddy Yean pitched 3.2 scoreless innings of relief to earn the win, and Abrahan Gutierrez hit two home runs to lead the Marauders to victory. Bradenton recorded 15 hits on the night, four of which left the yard. Gutierrez, Jackson Glenn, Endy Rodriguez, Dariel Lopez and Maikol Escotto all recorded multi-hit games as everyone in Bradenton’s lineup had at least one hit.
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