PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates offense had their hands full with Toronto Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah on Friday night at PNC Park.
Pittsburgh couldn’t muster much of anything against the big right-hander, and the Pirates fell to 4-0.
Manoah shut the Pirates out through his 7.1 innings of work. He scattered five hits, struck out six and walked just a single batter.
“This is a guy that really commands the baseball. He’s got three pitches that he throws to all four quadrants of the plate. When you have that kind of command, I think it shows why he’s second or third in the American League in ERA,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said.
Perhaps enacting revenge on the city of Pittsburgh from Thursday night’s “Backyard Brawl” football game won by Pitt over West Virginia, Manoah, the former Mountaineer, paved the way to victory for the Jays.
Tim Mayza and Adam Cimber combined to hold the Pirates in check for the final 1.2 innings and sealed the win.
Johan Oviedo made the start for the Pirates in his team debut. The big right-hander held the Blue Jays scoreless over three innings, but struggled with efficiency. It took Oviedo 77 pitches to get through his three frames.
“Overall, impressed with the stuff, we just need to make sure we condense the pitches, just too many pitches per plate appearance,” said Shelton.
In total, Oviedo allowed a pair of singles, walked three and struck out four.
Tyler Beede, who came into the game in relief of Oviedo in the fourth, allowed three straight hits, including a pair of doubles. The last of those three hits was a two-run hit from Santiago Espinal, which broke the scoreless tie.
The Blue Jays didn’t score again until the top of the ninth when Bo Bichette hit a two-run homer to left-center off of Yohan Ramirez.
Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes left the game after five innings with left shoulder discomfort. His status is day-to-day.
Hayes was injured diving for a ball down the line in the fourth inning, Shelton said.
“The next at-bat, the ball he grounded to first, he just didn’t look right. Watching him in between innings, you can tell he was favoring it so just decided to get him out,” Shelton said.
Tyler Heineman doubled as part of a two-hit night for the Pirates. Jack Suwisnki also recorded a pair of hits in the loss.
The loss is the Pirates 82nd of the year, clinching their fourth straight losing season.
Pittsburgh will look to even up the three-game series on Satudray night. Roansy Contreras (4-4, 3.57 ERA) will look to keep his hot stretch rolling on the mound for Pittsburgh. The Blue Jays have yet to name their starter.
The Pirates will celebrate their inaugural Hall of Fame class prior to first pitch.