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Pirates Blast Three Homers, But Rays Walk-Off Bucs 4-3



For the second straight game, the Pirates found themselves in extra innings. This time however, the Pirates were on the losing end as Harold Ramirez delivered a walk-off single as the Rays defeated the Pirates 4-3 in Tampa Bay on Friday.

Vidal Brujan, who was serving as the automatic runner, swiped third base with one out, putting the winning run 90 feet away. Ramirez, a one time Pirates farmhand, then came through with a base hit to left to win the game.

The Bucs squandered a golden opportunity in the top of the frame when they had two on with nobody out, but Pittsburgh failed to push across a run.

The Rays put up a three-spot in the second inning. Luke Raley shot a single passed Oneil Cruz into center field, allowing Josh Lowe to score. In his first big league at-bat, Jonathan Aranda picked up an RBI-single, extending the Rays lead to 2-0. The final run of the frame came on a Mitch Keller balk.

Keller labored in the inning as he threw 34 pitches, but it was the only inning in which the Rays were able to strike against Keller. He got through the next three innings and escaped a jam in the fifth to keep the Bucs in the ballgame.

In total, Keller gave up three earned runs in five innings. He gave up five hits (all singles), walked run and struck out five batters. 62 of his 96 pitches went for strikes.

The Pirates rallied to tie the game thanks to three solo shots. The first was from Michael Chavis homered for the second straight game after hitting a deep shot over the left field fence in the top of the fourth inning. Chavis collected a pair of hits in the game as he continues to feast on left-handed pitching.

Diego Castillo added a solo shot of his own two batters later, his sixth of this year that cut the Pirates deficit to just one.

Hoy Park added his second long ball of the year the following inning as he took a first pitch fastball over the fence in right-center field.

The Pirates will try and even the series on Saturday afternoon and will rely on the arm of JT Brubaker (1-7, 4.11 ERA). Veteran right-hander Corey Kluber (3-4, 3.46 ERA) will get the ball for the Rays.


  • Spring-Dings: Entering play, Rays starter Jeffrey Springs had only allowed five homers across his first 17 appearances (54 innings). Only one of those homers came off of the southpaw’s changeup. After looking overmatched the first time through the lineup, the Pirates managed three homers off of Springs, two of which were off of his changeup. The Pirates entered play with 70 homers, tied for 17th in Major League Baseball, a big improvement from their dead-last finish a season ago.
  • Much Better Mitch: Keller came into Friday’s game after putting together a string of several consecutive solid outings. While he was tagged with three earned runs in this one, all the damage was done in one inning, and Keller didn’t allow any big hits or struggle with control. More importantly, the right-hander didn’t crumble when things went south as has happened in the past. All in all, it was another strong performance from Keller who has looked like a different pitcher since adding his new fastball.
  • Go Diego Go: Castillo has now recorded homers in two of his last three games, three of his last five and four of his last nine contests. Four of his last five hits have been four-baggers. Thanks to the homerun he hits in this one, he now carries a modest three-game hitting streak. Castillo has started to look more like the player he was in spring training after a slow start of of the gates in the regular season.

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