The Pirates went eight innings between hits and over five between baserunners, Jeremy Hellickson set down the last 10 batters he faced, and the Bucs fell to the Phillies, 7-2, on Friday night at PNC Park. The Pirates had just three hits on the night.
Pittsburgh jumped to a 2-0 lead right away. Josh Harrison hit a leadoff single, then scored on Josh Bell’s RBI double to center. Bell went home when Freddy Galvis threw wildly to first on a Francisco Cervelli grounder.
Andrew McCutchen drew a third-inning walk, and that was it for a long time. Phillies pitchers set down 16 in a row.
Oddly, the game featured just four strikeouts — two pitched by Hellickson, one by Phillies reliever Hector Neris and one by the Pirates’ Josh Lindblom. The Bucs spent the better part of the night swatting lazy fly balls or easy grounders towards Philadelphia defenders.
Hellickson allowed just the two hits and one walk in six innings. The former Tampa Bay Ray was rolling, with 84 pitches, but injured himself on his RBI double in the top of the seventh.
Bell finally singled off Neris to open the bottom of the ninth, at which point the Pirates were down five runs.
Trevor Williams was somewhat effective in his start. He didn’t strike anyone out, of course, but got 10 groundouts in 5 2-3 innings. A leadoff walk followed by a Daniel Nava double got Williams into trouble in the sixth, and the two runs quickly came in for a 3-2 Phillies lead.
Cameron Rupp clubbed a three-run homer off Tony Watson in the ninth to give Philadelphia some cushion.
Lindblom pitched 2 1-3 innings of relief, though he may be on his way out with waiver-claim Jhan Marinez coming in.