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Kingham perfect through 6 2/3 IP as Bucs break out brooms

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With his family in attendance, Nick Kingham dominated as he made his major league debut. Kingham attacked the zone, showing excellent command of his primary and secondary pitches.

Perfect through 6 23 innings, DeJong canceled Kingham’s extended segment on SportCenter with a single to left. His final line was 7 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 9 SO.

The bats were relatively silent through the first five innings. But with one out in the bottom of the 6th, Marte reached first base on an infield hit. Down to a 1-2 count, Josh Bell choked up on the bat and followed up with a bloop base hit to right-center, bringing Marte around to third. Dickerson then walked, loading the bases for Diaz who roped a single down the right field line, scoring Marte and Bell. Hicks was called on to relieve Weaver and promptly gave up an RBI single to Moran. Mercer grounded into a 6-2 fielder’s choice, where Diaz was caught at the plate. Kingham followed by working a walk, which loaded the bases again. Fraizer was then hit by a pitch, bringing in Moran to conclude the scoring at four runs in the 6th inning.

The Pirates bullpen looked sharp, backing up Kingham’s strong start. Granted, they did receive a little help from the Cards. For the second time in the series, a Cardinal’s base runner got caught not knowing how many outs there were. This time, Molina was doubled off at first base after Greg Garcia hit a routine fly ball to center in the 8th inning.

Bucs added an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th before Santana pitched a scoreless 9th to secure the sweep.

Additional Notes:

  • With the exception of Polanco, all Pirates starters enjoyed time on the base paths. Polanco looked to have struggled with pitch recognition as well as an overall knowledge of the strike zone.
  • It is not yet confirmed whether or not Kingham will remain with the team. Kingham would be slotted to make his next start on Friday in Milwaukee should he be given a spot in the rotation.
  • Tomorrow, the Pirates begin a nine game road trip against the Nats, Brewers, and White Sox with their next off day set for 5/7.