The Pirates trailed by as many as four runs and entered the seventh inning down three and in jeopardy of losing their fourth straight game to the Diamondbacks on the year on Monday night at PNC Park.
That was when the Bucs put the rally caps on.
The Pirates scored three runs in the seventh and Ke’Bryan Hayes drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth to make it 6-5 as the Pirates came back from down four runs or more for the fifth time this season.
Yoshi Tsutsugo led off the seventh after coming off the bench and launched one 104.3 mph off the bat that cleared the Clemente Wall, putting the Pirates within striking, distance down a pair at 5-3.
Yoshi don't miss. pic.twitter.com/903ideudnY
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) August 24, 2021
After a nine-pitch at-bat, Hayes drew a walk and came around to score on a Bryan Reynolds triple, his second RBI of the game and 74th of the season. Colin Moran chopped one to third and Reynolds, who broke for home on contact, scored without a throw to tie the game at five. Moran reached first on a throwing error by third baseman Asdrúbal Cabrera.
In the eighth, the Pirates drew three straight walks, loading the bases with one out for Hayes, who grounded out after a 10-pitch at-bat, scoring Newman and giving the Pirates the lead. Hayes saw 31 pitches in his five plate appearances on the night.
David Bednar picked up his second save of the season, assisted by another spectacular play by Newman, sealing the Pirates’ victory.
Daulton Varsho put Arizona on the board first with a solo shot into the bullpens, his third in as many games. The Pirates responded thanks to back-to-back doubles from Colin Moran and Jacob Stallings, tying the game at 1-1.
The Diamondbacks retook the lead after Humberto Mejia picked up his first Major League hit, a double, and scored on a Ketel Marte base hit to right field. After a play that looked like Hayes had a chance to step on third for an out, the bases were loaded. Christian Walker proceeded to unload them one batter later with a long single off the outfield wall, making it 5-1 Arizona.
Pittsburgh starter Wil Crowe worked 4.2 innings and gave up five earned runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out five.
The Pirates have now won three of four since going 2-15 to begin the month of August.
Game two of the series is tomorrow night. JT Brubaker (4-13, 5.49 ERA) vs. Madison Bumgarner (7-7, 4.06 ERA)
Stat of the Game:
- Though Crowe has done a relatively good job of limiting damage since the start of July, pitching to 3.72 ERA in 38.2ip in his last nine starts before Monday, efficiency continues to be an issue. Crowe has now failed to go at least five innings in his last four starts. Deep counts and free passes have hurt Crowe’s ability to work deep into ball games. After going 4.2 innings Monday, Crowe is averaging just 4.65 innings per start.
⚾ Cheetah Finding His Stride: Since breaking an 0-for-12 streak on Friday and with a pair of hits for the second time in as many games, Stallings has recorded five hits in his last 11 at-bats. August has not been kind to the Bucs’ backstop who entered play hitting just .209 with a .566 OPS since the calendar flipped. Tonight’s double was Stallings’ first extra base hit since August 4, and just his second since his walk off grand slam vs. the Mets on July 17.
⚾ Power Threat: Tsutsugo’s pinch-hit homer was his second homerun off the bench since signing with the Pirates. In 18 at-bats with the Bucs, Tsutsugo has three homers and a pair of doubles, good for a .944 slugging percentage and a .611 ISO.
⚾ Back-to-Back?: After the weekend series against St. Louis where the Pirates took two of three from the Cardinals, a series victory over Arizona would give the Bucs their first back-to-back series wins since April 21-25, when they took two out of three from both the Tigers and Twins.
⚾ Handling the Role: Bednar earned his second save in as many opportunities to be the Pirates closer this season, after former closer Richard Rodríguez was traded at the deadline. Bednar gave up one hit and struck out one in his first chance against the Cardinals in St. Louis on Saturday. He pitched a 1-2-3 ninth on Monday with one strikeout to earn his first save within the confines of PNC Park, just a few miles from his hometown of Mars, Pa.
On the season, his first with the Pirates, Bednar has a 2.44 ERA, 2.98 FIP, has struck out 64 and allowed 16 walks and 36 hits in 51.2 innings. The 26-year-old, who came to the Pirates from San Diego in the Joe Musgrove trade, is under team control through the 2026 season and looks to be solidifying a role in the back end of the Pirates’ bullpen for 2022.