Sliders, whiffs, and triples, oh my! The Pittsburgh Pirates (48-79) defeated the Philadelphia Phillies (72-56) 5-0 and avoided the sweep as well as ending their seven-game losing streak.
Roansy Contreras (4-4, 3.57 ERA) was the story of Sunday’s game.
Through his five innings of shutout ball, Contreras had the Phillies’ batters on their heels with his slider most of the time. Contreras’ slider induced 12 swings and misses out of 17 total.
Out of 89 pitches thrown, Contreras threw 40 sliders and had an average spin rate of 2511 RPMs which is 57 points above his average for 2022.
Contreras found himself in a pickle in the fourth inning with back-to-back singles from Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto to lead off the inning.
Contreras came back with three straight four-seamers at the top of the zone to get Jean Segura and then forced an infield pop-up to Bryson Stott.
With two outs, Contreras walked Matt Vierling on four straight pitches, with Edmundo Sosa coming to the plate with the bases loaded.
Contreras got Sosa out with one pitch on a line drive to Bryan Reynolds in center field.
Contreras was solid and now has an ERA of 3.00 in 18 innings since getting recalled by the Pirates.
Generating offense and the Pirates aren’t typically used in the same sentence, but Sunday afternoon against Noah Syndergaard (8-9, 3.98 ERA), they did just that.
Oneil Cruz started the game in the first inning with a lead-off triple, followed by a single from Ke’Bryan Hayes, giving the Pirates a rare 1-0 lead.
Greg Allen’s sacrifice bunt in the fourth inning showed off some small ball after a one-out triple from Tucupita Marcano. Believe it or not, the Pirates led 2-0.
The top of the sixth inning is where the Pirates sealed the deal.
Bryan Reynolds hit the Pirates’ third triple of the day in lead-off fashion, giving way to a Michael Chavis single, plating Reynolds.
A Rodolfo Castro single placed runners on first and third with no outs.
Marcano got some luck with a deflected ball off Syndergaard’s glove, giving Chavis time to slide home and avoid the tag for yet another run.
After Bligh Madris hit a two-out RBI double in the inning, the Pirates found themselves in a 5-0 lead.
Those three Pirates’ triples were the first occurrence since May 25, 2018, when Corey Dickerson, Austin Meadows, and Jordy Mercer did it.
The Pirates 5-0 victory marked their first road shutout victory of the year and was the first time they did it since Sept. 26, 2021, when they shutout the Phillies 6-0.
Hats off to Marcano who registered six straight outs defensively and finished with seven assists on the afternoon.
Rodolfo Castro led the way for the Pirates’ offense with the only multi-hit game going two for four with two singles.
The Pittsburgh Pirates now head to Milwaukee to face the Brewers Monday night. The Pirates have yet to name a starter, but they will face Corbin Burnes (9-6, 2.84 ERA).