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Pirates Allow Nine Unanswered Runs as Pitching Collapses Late



Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Colin Holderman (35) throws during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Detroit Tigers Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

PITTSBURGH—The Pirates fell 9-5 to the Giants in extra innings on Wednesday night, allowing nine unanswered runs as San Francisco’s offense found its stride against Jared Jones and the Pittsburgh bullpen.

Pittsburgh’s offense got hot for just one inning, putting up a five-spot in the fourth against 2023 National League Cy Young winner Blake Snell. Two walks and an infield single loaded the bases, then Andrew McCutchen wore a pitch to drive in a run and end Snell’s day. Reynolds worked the count full against Giants’ reliever Sean Hjelle before crushing a cutter over the Clemente Wall for a 5-0 lead.

San Francisco got one back the following inning, then started to hit Jones hard in the sixth as his velocity dipped into the mid-90s. Matt Chapman crushed a 93.9 mile per hour fastball to left field for a two-run bomb, then Jorge Soler barely missed tying the game with a fly ball that died at the wall. Jones rebounded with a strikeout to end his day, earning a quality start and adding five strikeouts.

Pirates Come Undone

The Pirates began to come unhinged in the eighth, as Aroldis Chapman missed the zone on 12 consecutive pitches to load the bases with nobody out. Manager Derek Shelton substituted Chapman for Colin Holderman, who allowed one run to cross on a weak ground ball to the catcher.

Holderman stayed on in the ninth to attempt a six-out save, but the 6-foot-4 right-hander ran into trouble with two outs, surrendering a pair of singles and the game-tying run—unearned following a Reynolds’ error. Carmen Mlodzinski allowed four runs in the top of the tenth, putting the game out of reach.

Pittsburgh moves to 23-27 on the season. They’ll look to take their series with the Giants at 12:35 p.m. Thursday, with Paul Skenes set to take the mound.

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