The Pirates lost their seventh straight game to the Twins 5-2 tonight. They are now 2-10 this season.
At the very least, Trevor Williams looked sharp in a much needed seven-inning start. He allowed one run on three hits, striking out five and walking one. His only run surrendered came from a Marwin Gonzalez bloop single in the top of the second inning. His success came from limiting hard contact by elevating the fastball and keeping off-speed pitches down in the zone. Tonight was by far the best starting pitching performance from any Pirate this season. Unfortunately for him, it wasn’t good enough for the win.
Geoff Hartlieb entered in the eighth and was able to tightrope through a 25 pitch inning. Manager Derek Shelton then sent him back out for the ninth. That decision did not work out as Hartlieb allowed a lead-off double to Byron Buxton and a one-out walk to Mitch Garver. Dovydas Neverauskas was then brought in to attempt to get out of the jam. Unfortunately, he immediately gave a single to Gonzalez that scored Buxton to give the Twins a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, Max Kepler slammed a three-run shot to make the score 5-0.
Twins’ starter Randy Dobnak was impressive tonight, tossing six scoreless innings. The former Indy ball pitcher from South Park, PA was easily able to navigate through the Pirates’ lineup. Although he struck out just one batter, he was able to force many ground balls.
In typical 2020 Pirates fashion, the offense scored two meaningless runs in the ninth after eight innings of nothing. Josh Bell crushed a one-out two-run dinger off Jorge Alcala to break the Twins’ shutout. In total, four hits were tallied by Pirates. Although they were able to make fairly consistent hard contact, most of it came on the ground for outs.
Tomorrow, the Pirates will wrap up their four-game home and home series against the Twins. They will try to avoid their eighth straight loss. JT Brubaker will take the ball for the Pirates and oppose Kenta Maeda in a 1:35 afternoon game.