Riding a five game losing streak, the Pittsburgh Pirates started hot but fizzled quickly.
Roansy Contreras re-announced himself by setting down the first three Boston Red Sox batters on just seven pitches.
In the bottom of the first inning Bryan Reynolds — fresh off a late game ejection — deposited a 2-0 fastball from Rich Hill 416 feet into the bullpen for a two-run lead, after Kevin Newman led off the inning with first-pitch single.
The Pirates then quickly returned to the post All-Star break form.
After receiving some early offense and having only thrown seven pitches, Contreras would give those runs back. The first two batters would reach base by way of a single and a walk before Roansy got Eric Hosmer to fly out. Then the next three batters would all pick up a hit, staking the Red Sox a 3-2 lead. Contreras would then record two strikeouts with an intentional walk sandwiched in-between.
Rich Hill took that lead and proceeded to sit down the next nine batters for the Pirates.
Contreras was able to keep the one-run deficit over the next two innings before the Red Sox were able to break through again in the fifth for a 4-2 lead. Alex Verdugo hit his 30th double on the season to score Xander Bogaerts after he had singled. Roansy would go on to pitch one more inning to close his line at six innings pitched with four earned runs. He managed to strike out only three batters while allowing six hits and four walks in total.
Rodolfo Castro broke Hill’s streak of setting down 12 consecutive batters with a single to lead off the bottom of the fifth. Castro wouldn’t get further than second base though, as the Pirates’ hitters began another stretch of no one reaching base safely till the ninth outside of Ben Gamel in the sixth after a Hosmer error.
Duane Underwood Jr. set the Red Sox down 1-2-3 in the seventh after replacing Contreras. He’d begin the 8th but leave after two batters and recording one out. Eric Stout replaced Underwood Jr. and quickly loaded the bases after two singles before walking in a run to make it 5-2. Stout recorded the final two outs with Yohan Ramirez coming in for the ninth and proceeding to give up three earned runs.
The offense tried to make it interesting in the home-half of the ninth. In came a friendly face in Jeurys Familia who hadn’t pitched in a MLB game since he last faced the Pirates as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies back on July 31st. Ben Gamel laced a RBI single to center field with one out and runners on second and third. That ended up being all the offense had in them as Kevin Padlo grounded out to third base on a 3-2 pitch with Castro then finishing things off looking at strike three.
Pirates will lace them back up tomorrow evening hoping to avoid their second consecutive sweep and seventh consecutive loss. There’s still 45 games to go. I can’t believe there’s still 45 to go.
Red Sox @ Pirates
Time: 7:05 PM EST
Pirates Starter: JT Brubaker (2-10, 4.45)
Red Sox Starter: Nathan Eovaldi (5-3, 4.15)
Brubaker Notes: JT Brubaker will be making his 23rd start of the season. After failing to complete five innings in two consecutive starts while giving up 10 earned runs, Brubaker was able to steady the ship against the Arizona Diamondbacks and throw five innings of two-run ball in his latest start. He’ll try to stop the bleeding and help the Pirates avoid their second straight series sweep.
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) August 18, 2022
1. Tommy Pham (R) LF
2. Rafael Devers (L) 3B
3. Xander Bogaerts (R) SS
4. Alex Verdugo (L) RF
5. J.D. Martinez (R) DH
6. Christian Arroyo (R) 2B
7. Reese McGuire (L) C
8. Bobby Dalbec (R) 1B
9. Jarren Duran (L) CF