After a grand slam won the game for the New York Yankees against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night, it was another grand slam that served as an early back-breaker for the Bucs against New York on Wednesday night.
Oswaldo Cabrera hit his first career grand slam in the first inning to get the Yankees going before they really poured it on to rout the Bucs 14-2 at Yankee Stadium.
The first inning for the Yankees’ offense started the same as the ninth inning ended Tuesday night. Cabrera whacked a breaking ball from Pirates starter Roansy Contreras into the right field bleachers to put New York up 4-0.
Giancarlo Stanton’s walk-off slam in the ninth inning lifted the Yankees to a 9-5 victory Tuesday night.
On Wednesday, the Yankees didn’t score off of Contreras again until the fifth inning when Gleyber Torres hit an RBI single and scored on Josh Donaldson’s double.
The Donaldson hit ended Contreras’ night. The 22-year-old racked up a career-high 10 strikeouts, becoming the 18th rookie pitcher in Pirates’ history with double-digit strikeouts in a game. However, Contreras was also charged with six earned runs in 4.2 frames.
The Yankees broke it open in the eighth inning against the bullpen, starting with Miguel Yajure. Torres hit opposite field solo homer to begin the inning. Later in the frame, Cabrera doubled home a run, giving him five RBIs in the game.
The Pirates then went to Eric Stout, who promptly surrendered a two-run double to Harrison Bader and later gave up an RBI double to Jose Trevino.
Torres later hit for the second time in the inning and smacked a three-run shot to left field for his second of the inning. That made it 14-2.
Rodolfo Castro scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Ke’Bryan Hayes in the fourth inning to put the Pirates on the board. Hayes drove in Castro again in the sixth inning with a base hit to left field for the Bucs’ second and final run.
Castro led the Pirates with a pair of hits. It marked his third multi-hit performance in his last seven contests.
The Pirates’ bullpen combined to give up 15 earned runs in the two-game series for a 21.33 ERA.
The Pirates are now heading home after dropping all six games in New York against the Mets and Yankees.
The Bucs will welcome to Chicago Cubs for a four-game series beginning Thursday night. Mitch Keller (5-11, 4.03 ERA) will get the ball for the Pirates at 6:35 p.m. Rookie right-hander Hayden Wesneski (1-1, 2.30 ERA) will start for the Cubs.
- The Good With The Bad: Though six runs across 4.2 innings won’t get it done, it wasn’t all bad for Contreras. In addition to striking out a career-high 10 batters, the most for a Pirates’ rookie since Gerrit Cole in 2013, Contreras also recorded a career-high 19 swings and misses. Contreras’ slider has looked sharper than it ever has in the big leagues and has become an effective pitch for him.
- Four For Four: Cabrera’s first-inning grand slam was the fourth the Yankees have hit against the Pirates this season in four matchups. Stanton hit the walk-off variety on Tuesday night while facing Wil Crowe. In a July 6 matchup at PNC Park, Aaron Judge hit one in the eighth inning against Manny Bañuelos. An inning later, Aaron Hicks hit one off of utility man Josh VanMeter, who pitched the final frame in the 16-2 blowout.
- Won’t Witness History… Yet: Judge entered play just one home run shy of tying American League mark of 61 homers in one season. In this game Judge “settled” for two doubles, so the Bucs won’t be on the field to witness history — at least not yet. Albert Pujols is two home runs shy of 700, and the Pirates and Cardinals match up for the final six games of the regular season, three in St. Louis and three in Pittsburgh.