Jordan Lyles turned in his best outing in weeks Friday night, but the Pirates’ bats were silent and Philadelphia emerged victorious, 6-1.
Lyles was coming off a disastrous start against the Cubs on July 13 where he allowed seven runs while only managing to get two outs. Lyles admitted he was thinking of that start coming into Friday.
“It wears on you,” said Lyles of that outing. “It’s tough to turn the page and get ready for your next one. That fifth day can’t come quick enough.”
Lyles returned to form Friday, striking out seven in 5.2 innings.
“It was basically a sketch of what we saw the first two months of him,” said Clint Hurdle. “It was a very strong performance.”
His night got off to a shaky start, surrendering two hits and a walk in the first to load the bases with one out, but he got J.T. Realmuto to fan and Cesar Hernandez to pop out to left to escape the jam.
With the exception of a leadoff home run by Adam Haseley to open the fifth, Lyles then coasted until the sixth, when he was pulled after his 100th pitch was lined off Adam Frazier’s glove for a single. Richard Rodriguez came on in relief and promptly stranded both of his inherited runners.
Jake Arrieta was a thorn in the Pirates’ side once again, matching Lyles’ 5.2 innings of one run ball. Like Lyles, he also allowed eight base runners. He struck out four.
The Pirates needed to play small ball to scratch out their only run in the second. A failed hit and run ended up resulting in a Corey Dickerson steal, and he wound up scoring on a two out single by Elias Diaz.
Again, like Lyles, Arrieta ran out of gas and needed help from his bullpen to close his ledger. After walking two with a Colin Moran double sandwiched in between, former Pirate Juan Nicasio was called upon, and he got Kevin Newman to ground out to end the threat.
“He’s recreated himself with the situation that he’s in. He shows that he’s still able to pitch,” Hurdle said of Arrieta. “We weren’t able to push him much when we got on base. We were able to steal a couple bases, put ourselves in scoring position.
“The big opportunity got away from us in the sixth. But he made pitches and got outs when he had to.”
In the seventh, Bryce Harper beat the shift and lined a two out RBI hit against Rodriguez, who was working his second inning.
The Phillies picked up an insurance run in the eighth when Jean Segura won a 13 pitch battle against Kyle Crick by legging out an infield single with the bases loaded. Clay Holmes was tagged for three runs in the ninth to close the scoring.
Cole Irvin picked up his first save of the season, working two innings. Nicasio gets the win (2-3) and Rodriguez the loss (3-4).
Corey Dickerson hit three singles and was intentionally walked in his four trips to the plate. Moran went 2-3 with a double. He was thrown out trying to stretch his other hit into a two-bagger.
Trevor Williams has been scratched from his start Saturday due to “severe flu-like symptoms.” Joe Musgrove (6-8, 4.31), who is on full rest thanks to the off-day Thursday, will take his place. Zach Eflin (7-9, 4.16) will start for the Phillies, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m..
1. Lyles got four whiffs with his curveball Friday, all for strike three. He also had a curve drop in for a called strike three.
2. Rodriguez’s streak of 19 scoreless appearances was snapped. It dated back to May 30 and lasted 19 innings.
3. The Phillies out-hit the Bucs 15-7 Friday. The Pirates are 7-36 when they are out-hit.