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Fifth-Inning Insurance Runs Prove Key as Pirates Lose to Orioles 6-3



Pittsburgh Pirates, JT Brubaker

Well, the Pittsburgh Pirates avoided being shut out this time but suffered their second loss in a row to the Baltimore Orioles 6-3 on Saturday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

The Pirates lost to the Orioles 1-0 on Friday night in the series opener.

With starter J.T. Brubaker’s night done, Eric Stout came in to pitch the fifth inning with the Pirates trailing 3-2.

Ramon Urias smoked a one-out double off. Then two outs, Jorge Mateo was hit by a pitch, placing two men on with Ryan McKenna at the plate.

On a 1-1 count, Stout left a hanging breaking pitch over the middle, and McKenna made him pay with a two-run double giving the Orioles what turned out be an insurmountable three-run lead.

Brubaker (2-10) had to labor through his second straight start. Brubaker used his sinker as his main pitch at a 36% rate. Brubaker’s sinker was a tick down in velocity with an average of 92.4 mph, which is nearly one mph less than his yearly average.

Brubaker, through his first two innings, allowed three runs.

Terrin Vavra singled in the first inning, plating Adley Rutschman, and then a Mateo single and a Brett Phillips double in the second inning boosted the Orioles’ lead to 3-0.

After the second inning, Brubaker settled down a bit but used a ton of pitches to get outs. Brubaker’s swing-and-miss stuff was working as the game went on, with nine out of his 15 swings and misses coming from his trusty slider.

Brubaker’s final line read four innings, eight hits, three earned runs, two walks, and six strikeouts on 88 pitches (58 for strikes).

In the top of the fourth, Oneil Cruz flexed his muscles with a 106.2-mph two-run homer. Cruz now has 29 RBIs which places him fourth on the Pirates.

Also in the fourth inning, Ben Gamel registered his 100th career double. He finished the game with a pair of two-baggers.

Ke’Bryan Hayes got the Pittsburgh Pirates within two run when he singled in Gamel to cut the deficit to 5-3.

However, the Orioles answered  in the seventh inning. After a McKenna sacrifice bunt, the Orioles had runners on second and third with one out. Cedric Mullins hit a deep sacrifice fly to centerfield scoring Rougned Odor. That pushed the Orioles’ lead to 6-3.


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