PITTSBURGH — Looking at what the Pittsburgh Pirates have done the last two nights, you never would have guessed they had lost 12 of their last 13 games.
After cruising to a 9-4 victory over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night, the Pirates again rolled over the Friars, winning 7-1 on Wednesday.
It’s the first time the Pirates have won back-to-back games since taking six-straight from May 30-June 5.
Their 16 runs scored the last two nights are over half their run total from their 13 game rut (30 runs). Even if it’s a small sample, the Pirates’ offense is looking like the one that carried them to a 20-8 record to begin the season.
In Wednesday’s lineup, the Pirates had three rookies in Henry Davis, Nick Gonzales and Jared Triolo, who was making his major league debut. All three batters reached base twice and combined for three runs and a pair of RBIs.
“Since [Ben Cherington] got here, we’ve talked about the lifeblood of our organization is going to be our system,” Derek Shelton said. “So the fact that we’re able to back-fill, we have a very young roster in terms of experience. For these guys to come yup and contribute and do what they’re doing is extremely important for us.”
The prospects called up have been impactful for the Pirates in their brief stints as big leaguers. With two more hits against the Padres, Davis is batting .303 with an .833 OPS and has anchored the three-hole in the lineup the last two nights.
On Tuesday, Gonzales hit an RBI-triple and slugged his first career-homer, before Triolo recorded his first hit and run scored on Wednesday.
“Yeah for sure [providing a spark]. They’re bringing the energy,” Josh Palacios said. “[Henry Davis] is having great at-bats. He got another knock today, knocked another two runs in. Yesterday, [Nick Gonzales] went crazy – hit a bomb and a triple. And then Triolo getting his first hit today.”
In Tuesday’s win, it was the young guys who sparked the rally. Gonzales led off the inning with a single after a prolonged at-bat. Triolo then was hit by a pitch in the hand to load the bases with nobody out.
After the Pirates added a couple of runs, Davis drove in a pair with a soft-served base hit to right field to give the Pirates some welcomed insurance.
While Triolo had a big hand in it — no pun intended — it’s kind of a blur for him in his first career game. But, he knows the important role he and his fellow rookies had.
“Yeah, it was a sweet inning. I honestly couldn’t tell you what happened after I got hit by the pitch, but it was just great,” he said.
For young players, getting acclimated to big league pitching is only half the battle. The league will adjust back, and getting re-acclimated will need to happen.
While these ‘Young Bucs’ will certainly go through growing pains, maybe they already have done enough to spark a lineup to be able to keep things afloat whenever those pains may come.