PITTSBURGH – The good feelings the Pittsburgh Pirates generated in April are starting to fade away in May.
The Pirates’ losing streak reached a season-high five games Friday night when they fell to the Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 in the opener of a three-game series at PNC Park. The Blue Jays snapped a five-game skid.
Compounding matters is the Pirates had two players injured Friday. Outfielder Andrew McCutchen sprained his left ankle during pre-game workouts and infielder/outfielder Ji Hwan Bae left the game in the eighth inning after coming up lame while running down the first-base line while he grounded out.
Chris Bassitt (4-2) worked seven innings and combined with two relievers to shut out the Pirates on four hits. The loss dropped the Pirates to 20-13, which is still good for first place in the National League Central.
Rich Hill (3-3) allowed four runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings in taking the loss after winning his previous three starts with a 1.56 ERA. The 43-year-old left-hander struck out five and walked two.
Bryan Reynolds had the Pirates’ lone extra-base hit with a double in the sixth inning that extended his hitting streak to 10. It is the fifth hitting streak of at least 10 games in his five-year career.
The Pirates also have had an extra-base hit in 33 straight games, the longest active streak in the major leagues.
The Blue Jays scored a run in the first inning when Bo Bichette doubled and scored on Vladimir Guerrero’s Jr.’s single. Back-to-back doubles by Whit Merrifield and Daulton Varsho in the fourth made it 2-0.
George Springer then doubled the Blue Jays’ lead by unloading a two-run home run to center field in the fifth inning that traveled 423 feet.
Merrifield had two hits.
The series continues at 6:35 p.m. Saturday with Johan Oviedo (2-2, 4.78) pitching for the Pirates against Jose Berrios (2-3, 5.29). Oviedo gave up a season-high seven runs in 2.1 innings last Sunday in a loss to the Nationals at Washington.