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Pirates Take Advantage of Puk’s Wildness While Bullpen Shines Again in 7-2 Win Over Marlins

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Ryder Ryan, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates knocked Miami Marlins starter A.J. Puk out of the game in the third inning en route to a 7-2 win on Friday night at loan Depot Park. 

The Pirates (2-0) took advantage of Puk’s wildness in his first start as a major-leaguer after the Marlins (0-2) converted him from a relief role. 

Puk (0-1) walked six batters in two-plus innings pitched. One of those walks came against Jared Triolo with the bases loaded in the second, which allowed Edward Olivares to score the first run of the game.

Michael A. Taylor drove in another run as the very next batter with a sacrifice fly to left field.

After Bryan Reynolds drew a walk to begin the third inning, Ke’Bryan Hayes drove him in with a double to left field. Two batters later, Olivares dumped an RBI-single into center field, which gave the Pirates a 4-0 lead and ended Puk’s night. 

Martín Pérez made his Pirates’ debut and had to work around some traffic – five hits, three walks and two very uncharacteristic errors from Hayes at third base. 

After Hayes’ second error – an errant throw to first base with one out in the fifth inning – Pérez was lifted in favor of Ryder Ryan. Ryan (1-0), who was also making his team debut, struck out both batters he faced to end the fifth inning. The right-hander gave the Pirates 1.2 innings of scoreless relief and was credited with the win, his first victory in the big leagues. 

Despite having baserunners on for the majority of his outing, Pérez was able to limit the Marlins to one run. Jake Burger delivered an RBI-single to left field in the third inning to make the score 4-1. 

The Pirates got back that run in the top of the sixth inning on Connor Joe’s two-out RBI-double. Joe collected his first two hits of the season in the win.

Oneil Cruz put the Pirates ahead 6-1 in the seventh inning when he singled to shallow left field which allowed Hayes to score from second base.  Cruz finished the night with a pair of singles in five trips to the plate. Hayes had his second-consecutive two-hit game and drove in a run in the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly to deep right field. 

The Pirates’ bullpen was again dominant, holding the Marlins to one through 4.2 innings pitched. Josh Fleming covered the final three innings, giving him his second-career save and his first save since Aug. 22, 2021 while a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. 

The lone blemish against Fleming came in the bottom of the ninth when Christian Bethancourt brought home a run on a groundout with runners on second and third.

Defensively, the Pirates turned four double plays after turning three in the opener on Thursday. It’s the first time since at least 1900 that the Pirates have turned three or more double plays in each of the first two games of a season.

Up Next

Jared Jones will make his major-league debut in the third game of this four-game series on Saturday. The Marlins will send out left-hander Ryan Weathers. First pitch: 4:10 ET. 

Housekeeping

  • Prior to first pitch, the Pirates traded right-handed pitcher JT Brubaker and international bonus pool money to the New York Yankees. The Pirates will get a player to be named later.
  • Right-handed reliever Colin Holderman began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis on Friday.

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