Down 4-0 after one inning, the Pirates struck for four of their own in the second and took the lead for good in the fifth in an unlikely come from behind win in Chicago. The victory pus them one game behind the Cardinals and Brewers with a 20-16 record.
Ivan Nova struggled through bad luck and a tight strike zone as he threw 51 pitches in the first inning, the second highest total for a Pirates since records became widely kept in 1989.
The inning started when Leury Garcia’s grounder bounced off Nova’s foot to third baseman Colin Moran, who threw to first for the apparent out - but was overturned on review. Yolmer Sanchez then lined a ball to left field but Corey Dickerson lost it in the lights, a run scoring while Sanchez raced to third with a triple. Instead of getting a called strike three, the home plate umpire credited Nicky Delmonico with a walk and Welington Castillo followed with a high fly that barely cleared the right field wall for a two run homer.
The Pirates then benefited from White Sox starter Lucas Giolito nearly duplicating Nova’s meltdown in the very next inning. Corey Dickerson led off with a double, his first of four hits on the night. Francisco Cervelli was hit by a pitch and after Colin Moran struck out, Jose Osuna laced a single up the middle to plate Dickerson. After Jordy Mercer grounded into a force to score Cervelli, Adam Frazier walked and Gregory Polanco ripped a ball into the right field corner to score Mercer, but the ball bounced into the seats, holding Frazier at third. But that didn’t last long as Starling Marte grounded a single into left field to score Frazier with the tying run, but the trailing runner Polanco was thrown out at the plate.
In the bottom of the second a Sanchez single and a double by Jose Abreu put the Sox back up, 5-4, and Nova’s night was done after throwing 77 pitches in only two innings.
Tyler Glasnow then entered the game - and proceeded to throw strikes. 27 of 41. Three up, three down in both the third and fourth innings.
Once Giolito reached 98 pitches in four innings Chris Volstad was on to pitch the fifth and was rudely greeted by his old team. Bell and Cervelli singled before Colin Moran drove a ball to the warning track in center that was misplayed by Trayce Thompson into a double that put the Pirates up 6-5. With two outs Jordy Mercer lined a single to score Moran and put the Bucs up by two.
Jose Abreu grounded a single to right to lead off the fifth against Glasnow but he came back to strike out Nicky Delmonico, his third in seven batters. Still, manager Clint Hurdle thought it a good time to kepe Glasnow’s confidence intact and brought on Edgar Santana who quickly got a double play grounder to end the inning.
Pittsburgh tacked on two more runs in the sixth and another in the seventh. The only other run the White Sox could muster was a solo homer by Welington Castillo off George Kontos.
The Pirates collcted 16 hits off six Sox pitchers - four by Dickerson, three by Marte and two each for Polanco, Bell and Moran. Eight different players scored a run and seven drove in at least one. The game saw a total of 381 pitch in 3 hours and 53 minutes. 194 by the Pirates and 187 by the White Sox.