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Dazed, confused and hurdled Pirates fall 7-3 in Anaheim

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Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Mets Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

The Pirates had put ten runs on the board in each of the first two games of the series, and things looked good as they load the bases with none out in the first on a walk and two hit batters, but those two first inning runs would be the only ones that Angels starter Dillon Peters would allow in his six innings.

Chris Archer looked crisp and efficient through the first three innings as he cluing to that 2-0 lead, but things fell apart in the fourth when the Angels scored four times. Mike Trout opened the inning with a walk, but Archer got both Shohei Ohtani and Kole Calhoun swinging at strike three, giving him eight punch outs for the game. On the verge of another clean inning, Trout stole second base and on the next pitch came around to score when Albert Pujols beat the shift with a ground single to right. A wild pitch put Pujols in scoring position, and score he did when David Fletcher ripped a double to center. The last two runs came in when Luis Rengifo looped a hit to left that fell in front of Bryan Reynolds and then skipped under his glove, allowing Rengifo to circle the bases.

After tossing 39 pitches in that fourth inning, Archer only lasted one more. He did strike out ten, two in each inning.

Keone Kela threw a 1-2-3, twelve pitch sixth, but after the Pirates pulled to within one with a run in the top of the seventh, Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle sent Kyle Crick to the mound and he allowed one hit but also finished with an efficient fourteen pitch inning.

Apparently still in a daze from his misplay in left field, Reynolds struck out in the eighth, as he had in the fifth, and the Pirates still trailed by a run in the bottom of that inning.

Hurdle had announced before the game that three unspecified relievers were not available for the game, although that didn’t stop him from limiting Kela and Crick to one inning each. Down one run, he may have chosen All-World closer Felipe Vazquez, who’d thrown just one pitch the night before and only seven innings in the last 28 days, but instead he chose rookie Geoff Hartlieb, of the 7.92 ERA.

Predictably, the Angels knocked two singles, moved up on a wild pitch, got a two-run single from Pujols through a drawn in infield and let him advance to second on the throw to the plate where he was able to score the third run of the inning on yet another single.

The Pirates, owners of the second worse record in the National League, are off on Thursday before returning to Pittsburgh on Friday night to face the Cubs.