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Oviedo, Pirates Continue to Struggle as Losing Streak Reaches Six Games



Johan Oviedo, Pittsburgh Pirates

PITTSBURGH — When it’s going wrong, it’s going wrong. For Johan Oviedo and the Pittsburgh Pirates right now, things are certainly going wrong.

Oviedo struggled out of the gate in his start for the Pirates (20-14) and they were defeated 8-2 by the Toronto Blue Jays at PNC Park on Saturday night. With the loss, the Pirates’ losing streak reached six games.

The first three batters of the game reached against Oviedo. The last of which was an RBI-single off the bat of Daulton Varsho. 

With two outs in the inning, Brandon Belt roped a two-out double to right field to plate a pair and extend Toronto’s lead to 3-0. Alejandro Kirk traded places with Belt to tack on yet another run in the opening frame.

Belt was on base in four of his five plate appearances with two doubles and two walks. His last at-bat resulted in a called third strike and Belt was ejected from the game by home plate umpire Carlos Torres.

After retiring the first two batters in the third inning, things again unraveled. Oviedo issued a free pass to Belt before Kirk singled to right.

Cavan Biggio reached on an infield single and second baseman Rodolfo Castro committed an error on the play. The miscue led to another run for Toronto (20-14).

With the inning continuing, Kevin Kiermaier laced a single to right to plate two more, giving the Blue Jays a 7-0 lead in the third inning. 

Oviedo (2-3) was able to get through the next two innings without allowing a run. He finished the night with seven runs (six earned) on his line in five innings. The Blue Jays tagged him for 10 hits while the right-hander walked three and struck out just as many.

Cody Bolton came into the game in relief of Oviedo and allowed one run in two innings. With the bases loaded and no outs in the seventh, he induced a double play against Kiermaier but Belt scored on the play.

For the Blue Jays, starting pitcher José Berríos (3-3) took a perfect game into the fifth inning. With one out in the frame, Jack Suwinski drew a walk to end the bid while Ke’Bryan Hayes followed with a single to break up the potential no-hitter. 

Hayes finished the game with two hits — both singles off of Berrios.

After showing some life in the fifth, the Pirates finally broke through in the sixth. After a Bryan Reynolds double, Connor Joe drove him in with a base hit to center.

Reynolds’ double extended his hitting streak to 11 games, tied for the fourth-longest streak of his career.

Jack Suwinski homered in the bottom of the seventh inning to snap an 0-for-19 skid. The solo blast was his team-high seventh of the season. The Pirates’ center fielder also drew a pair of walks.

Berrios allowed two runs on five hits in 6.1 innings. He only walked one and struck out seven — four of which were looking.

Pittsburgh was out-hit by Toronto 14-5.

The Pirates will look to avoid a series sweep and avoid seeing their losing streak reach seven games with Roansy Contreras (3-2, 4.09 ERA) on Sunday afternoon. Left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (4-0, 4.02 ERA) will pitch for Toronto. First pitch: 1:35.

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