The Pittsburgh Pirates (25-22) passed test number one and pulled off the upset against the Texas Rangers (29-18) Monday night, by a score of 6-4.
It was a tightly contested game between the Pirates and Rangers, but Tucupita Marcano busted things one in the seventh inning after smashing a huge grand slam.
Luis Ortiz was also in his best form as he pitched a 7.2-inning gem against the best offense in the American League.
First pitch at PNC Park is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. You can watch all of the action on AT&T Sportsnet, or listen to the game on the Pirates radio station, 93.7 The Fan.
Partly cloudy skies are to be expected at first pitch, with temperatures right at 77 degrees. There will be a slight wind ranging from 6-7 mph and blow southeast.
The Pirates will send out LHP Rich Hill (4-3, 3.80 ERA)
Hill was a man on a mission in his last start on May 17 against the Detroit Tigers.
Hill pitched a gem as he went six full innings with one hit, no earned runs, two walks, and struck out seven on 84 pitches (56 strikes).
Hill primarily used his curveball/four-seam combo during that contest and got eight out of his 12 whiffs with that combo.
Out of 41 total swings, Hill managed to have just 12 balls put into play with an average exit velocity of 91.4 mph, and his four-seam giving up just 88.4 mph.
Hill has faced the Rangers seven times (five starts) and holds a 3-0 record with an ERA of 3.81 in 26 innings pitched.
The Rangers will send out RHP Nathan Eovaldi (5-2, 2.83 ERA)
Eovaldi has been in another stratosphere during May. In just three starts, Eovaldi has pitched a combined 23.2 innings with 13 hits, there earned runs, two walks, and 22 strikeouts.
In two out of his last three starts, Eovaldi has gone at least eight innings and gave up no earned runs.
In his latest start (May 17, his worst start this month), Eovaldi went seven innings with five hits, three earned runs (two solo homers), two walks, and struck out five.
The 33-year-old offers basically a four-pitch mix with a four-seam (37%), splitter (27.1%), cutter (19.2%), and a curveball (13.1%). In addition, Eovaldi has thrown a slider (3.7%) sporadically.
Eovaldi has faced the Pirates twice (one start) and holds an 0-0 record with an ERA of 10.80 in five innings pitched.
- Nathaniel Lowe: 2-5 with two walks and one strikeout against Hill
- Marcus Semien: 2-12 with one double and three walks against Hill
- Adolis Garcia:: 1-6 with one walk, and two strikeouts against Hill
- Robbie Grossman: 0-5 with three walks and two strikeouts against Hill
- Carlos Santana: 4-11 with one walk and two strikeouts against Eovaldi
- Andrew McCutchen: 4-13 with one walk and two strikeouts against Eovaldi
- Austin Hedges: 1-8 with a homer and a strikeout against Eovaldi
- Chris Owings: 0-6 with one walk and three strikeouts against Eovaldi
- Marcano recorded his first grand slam of his career Monday night in the seventh inning.
- In addition, this is the second grand slam of the Pirates’ season, with Jack Suwinski hitting one on April 29. This is the most grand slams in a season for the Pirates since 2021, when they hit four.
- Ortiz’s 7.2 innings pitched were the most by a Pirates rookie pitcher since Trevor Williams pitched eight innings on Aug. 23, 2017.
- In addition, Ortiz picked up his first career win in the major leagues.
Around The Network
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Penguins Get Permission to Speak to Dubas, GM Hire Delayed
Pittsburgh Sports Now: 2023 Four-Star Forward Papa Kante Commits to Pitt