This game was actually scoreless until the fourth inning, which was even more unlikely considering Steven Brault was pitching for the Pirates and had already given up seven hits.
But then it seemed every offering from Miami’s Trevor Richards, if not thrown away by their defense, found grass as the Pirates eventually amassed eighteen hits in the game.
Barult, who went six and a third innings his last time out, threw six strong innings against the Marlins, without allowing a walk or a run as he fanned six, throwing 61 of 90 pitches for strikes. In his last six games he’s allowed just seven earned runs in 30 2⁄3 innings, cutting his season ERA in half, from 8.82 to 4.40.
The Bucs’ bats put their first run on the board in the fourth, when Starling Marte led off the inning with a slow chop down the third base line that he easily beat out, but the pitcher Richards still made a throw to first which ended up down the right field line, allowing Marte to take second. One pitch later Colin Moran lined a single to center and the Pirates had a lead.
Richards, who entered the game with a 3.31 ERA, fell apart in the fifth, when with one out the pitcher Brault doubled to left, followed by Kevin Newman’s double, Bryan Reynolds’ single, a sacrifice fly from Starling Marte, a triple into the right field corner by Josh Bell and another single by Moran. 5-0 good guys.
Moran added a three-run homer in the seventh, his tenth of the year, and giving him five runs batted in for the game. An inning later, pinch-hitter Jose launched 400 foot two-run homer to left.
Reynolds ended the game with four hits, putting his season batting line at 364/415/574. Moran had three hits while Marte, Dickerson, Frazier and Brault had two apiece.
Going into Friday’s game, the Pirates had average 5.5 runs per game over their last 22, batting a combined 290/339/462, but had only won six of those games.
The two teams will do it again Saturday at 6:10 p.m. Eastern as the Pirates’ right-hander Dario Agrazal, who was 5-3 with a 3.27 ERA between Altoona and Indianapolis, will make his major league debut against the Marlins’ right-hander Pablo Lopez (4-5, 4.26)