The Pirates blew a pair of leads and stranded a dozen runners on base in a 6-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins Wednesday. The loss brings an end to a 4-5 road trip.
Chris Archer failed to pitch more than five innings for the third time in three starts as a Pirate, getting pulled after 5+ innings of four run ball. He allowed six hits but did not walk a batter, striking out seven.
The Pirates jumped on the board in the second inning when Colin Moran’s infield single forced an early, bad throw from Jorge Polanco, bringing home Francisco Cervelli. After a pair of bloop RBI singles by Logan Forsythe and Bobby Wilson gave the Twins a 2-1 edge later in the inning, Elias Diaz tied the game up in the fourth with a solo home run to left- his ninth of the year.
The Bucs regained the lead later in the inning when Gregory Polanco ripped a two out, two strike single to right for two runs, chasing Twins’ starter Jose Berrios. Berrios allowed four runs in his 3.2 innings of work, walking a pair and surrendering seven hits.
Archer started the sixth inning up 4-2, but was pulled after back to back singles. Edgar Santana (2-2) allowed two hits of his own in relief, including the game winning hit by Forsythe again.
The Pirates put four runners on in the last three innings, including the first two in the seventh, but did not advance a runner to third base against the Twins’ bullpen.
Lefty Gabirel Moya got four outs for the Twins to improve to 3-0 on the year.
The Twins added an insurance run on the first pitch of the seventh when Bobby Wilson blasted Keone Kela’s pitch off the left field foul pole.
Twins’ reliever Trevor Hildenberger picked up his third save of the year by getting Josh Harrison to ground into a game ending double-play.
The Pirates are going to start a stretch of 16 straight games against teams ahead of them in the playoff race. The first four are against the first place Chicago Cubs, with Ivan Nova (7-6, 4.42) and Jon Lester (12-5, 3.89) opening the series at 7:05 p.m..
1. Diaz hit two balls with an exit velocity over 95 MPH, resulting in his homer and a base hit. 73 of his 184 batted balls have been hit at least that hard this year (39.7%). He is slugging .972 when he hits it that hard.
2. Harrison went 3-5 with three singles. It is the first time he has reached base safely three times in a game since July 12 (19 games played).
3. This is the first time Polanco drove in a run in a losing effort since July 4 (a 12 game winning streak).