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Home Runs Hinder Jones in Otherwise Strong Start; Pirates Stifled in Loss to Phillies



Pittsburgh Pirates' Jared Jones pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Thursday, April 11, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Jared Jones once again did some really impressive things on the mound for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but he surrendered a pair of home runs for the second-straight start.

While the Philadelphia Phillies hit a trio of home runs as a team, the Pirates’ bats fell flat in their 5-1 loss at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday night.

Two pitches into Jones’ outing, the Phillies (7-6) had runners on first and second as Kyle Schwarber and Trea Turner each recorded first-pitch singles. Jones was able to get out of the early jam by getting Bryce Harper to bounce into a double play and J.T. Realmuto to line out. 

Jones (1-2) cruised through the next two innings before Alec Bohm hit a solo home run to center field with two outs in the fourth. The 407-foot blast put the Phillies up 1-0. 

The rookie right-hander again fell victim to the long ball in the seventh. With one out, Brandon Marsh snuck an opposite-field two-run homer just over the railing in left-center to tack on two more runs for Philadelphia. The blow ended Jones’ night.

With eight more strikeouts on the night, Jones became the second Pirates’ pitcher with seven-plus strikeouts in each of his first three appearances since 1893. José Deleón began his career with five-straight such appearances in 1983. Jones is the first pitcher in the majors to do so since Eduardo Rodríguez in 2015. 

He finished his outing with three runs against him in 6.1 innings pitched and didn’t allow a walk. Jones hasn’t issued a free pass in 12.1 consecutive outings, becoming the fourth Pirates’ pitcher since 1961 with a streak that long within his first three appearances.

Colin Holderman made his season debut in relief of jones. The first batter he faced was Nick Castellanos, who reached on an error charged to right fielder Edward Olivares after a miscommunication with center fielder Michael A. Taylor. Bryson Stott followed with a two-run homer to give the Phillies a 5-0 lead. 

The Pirates (9-4) reinstated Holderman from the 15-day injured list prior to first pitch. 

Phillies starting pitcher Ranger Suárez (2-0) tossed six-shutout innings and struck out eight batters. The Pirates managed only two hits against him. For the game, the Pirates struck out 14 times. Andrew McCutchen and Michael A. Taylor each struck out three times.

The Pirates’ first run of the game came in the top of the ninth inning on Jared Triolo’s RBI-single.

Two of the seven  hits in the game for the Pirates belonged to Edward Olivares, who had his third-straight multi-hit game.

The loss marks the first time this season the Pirates have dropped back-to-back games.

Up Next

The Pirates and Phillies will continue their battle of the commonwealth on Friday night. Bailey Falter (0-0, 5.40 ERA) will get the start for Pittsburgh against his former team. Fellow left-hander Cristopher Sánchez (0-1, 4.82 ERA) will start for Philadelphia. First pitch: 6:40 ET.

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