It was a beautiful Sunday in Pittsburgh, with the one exception being the grey clouds over PNC Park as the Metropolitans clobbered the Bucs 13-2.
It did not take the Mets long to get to starter Joe Musgrove. Michael Confroto opened the scoring in the first with a well struck solo homer to center, followed shortly after by a 449 foot J.D. Davis dinger. Davis’ dinger hit off the facade of the top layer on the rotunda.
While those would be the only long balls Musgrove served up, the Mets would score five more times against him. Three of those runs came off the bat of Todd Frazier, who snuck a pair of ground ball singles past a drawn in infield.
Musgrove closed his ledger with eight hits and 10 runs allowed in 3.1 innings pitched. He struck out five and hit a batter.
“I think at times, the stuff just didn’t have good finish to it, and they took advantage of it,” said manager Clint Hurdle.
Musgrove said he did not feel his best physically, suffering from a stiff back, stemming from a poor night’s sleep. Not usually the one to make excuses, Musgrove said he felt he made some adjustments mid-game to accommodate the stiffness, but it was not enough.
“I feel like I wasn’t able to get the last 10% of a pitch,” said Musgrove. “To finish it and drive it through the spots I wanted.”
The Pirates were able to save their bullpen by relying on recently promoted relievers Yefry Ramirez and Parker Markel, both of whom were making their Pirates debut, to cross the finish line. Ramirez got out of the fourth unscathed and tossed a 1-2-3 fifth, but was on the hook for five runs allowed in the sixth and seventh- three of them earned.
Markel tossed two clean innings, striking out three.
Meanwhile, Mets’ starter Noah Syndergaard (8-5) spun a seven inning gem, allowing just four base runners and one run.
Jose Osuna came off the bench to provide the Pirates all of their offense. He doubled and eventually came around to score on a Colin Moran base hit in the seventh and tagged a solo shot with two outs in the ninth.
The Pirates finished with four hits.
Robinson Cano was removed in the fourth with a hamstring injury. He was 3-3 with two doubles, two runs scored and a run.
Jeff McNeil went 2-4 with a double and a home run. He was also hit by a pitch.
Bryan Reynolds went 1-4, rolling a ground ball up the middle in the first for his 100th hit of the season.
Old friend Jordan Lyles (6-7, 5.15) will be the first Brewer to take the mound when Milwaukee comes to town for a three game set starting Monday. Dario Agrazal (2-2, 3.65) is slated for first pitch at 7:05 p.m..
1. Syndergaard has a 1.32 career ERA in four starts against the Pirates (27.1 IP, 4 ER).
2. The Pirates are 0-7 in series since the All-Star break. They were 14-11-4 in their first half series.
3. The first batted ball a Pirate hit hard (95+ MPH exit velocity) was by Ramirez in the sixth (97.3 MPH)- their 19th batter of the game.