The Pittsburgh Pirates’ bats woke up this afternoon at PNC Park, erasing two deficits put up by the Seattle Mariners, but a costly error by Jose Osuna at the top of the eleventh inning eventually gave the Mariners a 6-5 victory. It also cemented the Bucs’ sixth straight loss and second consecutive sweep.
After two games in which they were outscored 10-1, the Pirates looked to be heading down that road again in the bottom of the second inning. After walking Daniel Vogelbach, Joe Musgrove gave up a double to Tim Lopes, then Cole Tucker muffed a throw to first that allowed Donnie Walton to get on board and Vogelbach to score. Lopes then scored on a Braden Bishop single. Musgrove bungled pitcher Yusei Kikuchi’s bunt, and a Shed Long single brought Walton and Bishop home to give the Mariners a 4-0 lead.
Unlike the past two games, the Bucs came roaring right back with four doubles by Colin Moran, Elias Diaz, Jake Elmore and Musgrove. Musgrove has garnered respect for his offensive prowess and today was no exception; his strong double was followed by a gutsy slide into home on a Kevin Newman single to tie the game at four-all.
Both Musgrove and Kikuchi settled down after the wild second inning. Although Kikuchi threw far fewer pitches than Musgrove, he was taken out after the fourth inning with a line of four earned runs on eight hits, with one walk and one strikeout. Musgrove completed five innings, with two of his four runs earned, two walks and six strikeouts, but neither starter would get the decision.
The Pirates made it 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth when Jake Elmore singled Elias Diaz home after Diaz walked, then advanced on a Cole Tucker groundout off reliever Zac Grotz. The Mariners, however, came back to tie it after Francisco Liriano threw ten consecutive balls in the top of the seventh, walking Kyle Lewis and Omar Narvaez; Lewis would eventually score on an Austin Nola single. Keone Kela managed to hold off the Mariners’ battery in the top of the ninth after they loaded the bases, and a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth sent the game into extra innings.
After both sides went down in order in the tenth inning, Clay Holmes came in for the Pirates in the top of the eleventh, only to have Shed Long get on base courtesy of Osuna’s missed play. Narvaez singled to put runners on first and third, then Nola grounded out to Bucs second baseman Kevin Kramer, who instead of throwing to second decided to chase down Narvaez, who was ultimately tagged out, but not before Long scored to secure the Mariners’ win.
The Pirates will take their last road trip of the 2019 season to Milwaukee, taking on the Brewers at Miller Park in a three-game series. Steven Brault (4-5, 4.98) is slated to start for the Bucs against the Brewers’ Chase Anderson (6-4, 4.50).