PITTSBURGH — On Monday night, Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Joshua Palacios and St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Richie Palacios squared off with each other in a battle of brothers at PNC Park.
It was older brother Joshua who ended the night with the last laugh, but it was a special night for both brothers and the entire Palacios’ family, for that matter.
In the Pirates’ 11-1 rout of the Cardinals, Joshua Palacios hit a three-run home run and later drove in two runs with a double, finishing the game with a career-high five RBIs.
As if that wasn’t enough, Palacios sealed the victory with a fantastic diving catch in left-center field for the final out.
“Yeah, very cool. And to cap it off there at the end with that catch,” manager Derek Shelton said. “But overall, really nice game for Josh, and it’s very cool that he’s got as much family as he does here ‘cause his brother’s playing.”
The impressive catch certainly caught the attention of everyone in the ballpark, including Bailey Falter, who was on the mound when it happened.
“Thank you,” Falter said with a sigh of relief on what was going through his mind. “I’ll grab that guy a beer later.”
Richie Palacios didn’t start for the Cardinals, but he was called upon to pinch hit in the top of the ninth inning. Like something out of a movie, he singled to left field — the position his older brother was occupying.
With Joshua Palacios’ home run and Richie Palacios appearing in the game, it marked the third time in the Modern Era that a Pirates’ player hit a home run in the same game in which his brother appeared for the opposing team.
The other two instances were both with Matty and Felipe Alou, with the last occurrence happening on May 12, 1967.
“I’ll definitely remember that forever,” Joshua Palacios said on sharing a field with his brother. “Today was definitely like a bucket list thing. My brother and I have always wanted to play against each other in the show, and it’s a blessing that it could happen today.”
Growing up together in Brooklyn, New York, the relationship between the two brothers was what you would expect.
Joshua and Richie aren’t even two years apart in age, making the dynamic that much more compelling.
“It’s very competitive in our household,” Joshua Palacios said. “Even if it’s not him, it’s my big cousins and my uncles flaming me, like, ‘I don’t know who’s the big brother. Your little brother’s looking big. He’s hitting more home runs.’ So I had to set the tone today.”
Palacios did indeed set the tone with his younger brother, and not just with his big performance.
After his fourth-inning home run, Palacios was visibly hyped up as he celebrated with his teammates in the dugout.
“That was definitely going through my mind, was, ‘I am the big brother. Don’t forget it.’ And I’ve got my cousins and everybody in the stands, so I knew they would enjoy that one,” he said. “Before the game, they said, ‘Oh, he better not show you up, kid. Idon’t know, you can’t come back home.’ So I had to put on a show for them.”
In addition to Joshua and Richie sharing a field, the brothers had roughly 45-50 family members and friends in attendance, making the night even more special.
For Joshua, he’s just thankful the moment happened in Pittsburgh with so many people on hand to support.
“Thank God this wasn’t New York City or else I might have went broke,” he joked.
It may have been a career-game for Joshua Palacios in a big win for his team, but finally getting the chance to share a major league field with his younger brother will always be the highlight of the night.