The Pittsburgh Pirates (18-40) continued their quest to avoid being the only team to fail to win 20 games this season – this time in the penultimate game of the season against the Cleveland Indians (34-24) before this strange excursion wraps up tomorrow afternoon for Pittsburgh. The Pirates called on Joe Musgrove (0-5) to assist in that pursuit, while the Indians went with Aaron Civale (4-5).
The game consisted of something we haven’t seen all that much this year: It was all Pittsburgh. The Bucs struck first when Colin Moran singled in Ke’Bryan Hayes, making it 1-0. Jose Osuna added to that total with a solo home run (3) in the top of the second inning, pushing the black and gold advantage to 2-0.
A pair of big innings put the Pirates squarely in blowout range. Josh Bell singled in a run in the top of the third inning before Bryan Reynolds homered (7) to extend the lead, making the game 5-0. Moran got in on the action again in the top of the fourth inning when he launched a three-run homer (10) to right, putting the Pirates further ahead, 8-0.
All eight of those runs were earned and each one of them was charged to Civale. He was relieved by Triston McKenzie after four innings of labored work. The Cleveland relief squad would go on to pitch five scoreless innings.
Meanwhile, Musgrove was on his game. Through seven innings of work, he allowed three hits, no runs, walked a batter, and struck out 10 Indians’ hitters. He was relieved by Nick Tropeano in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Dovydas Neverauskas entered to pitch the ninth for the Pirates. A hit and a walk in the inning didn’t amount to much for the Tribe, as Pittsburgh went on to win, 8-0.
Notably, Hayes racked up five hits in five at-bats, including a trio of doubles. His OPS is over 1.000 in his first major league stint. Moran drove in four runs, mostly thanks to that big three-run home run early in the game.
Musgrove got the win, earning his first of the year (1-5), while Civale took his sixth loss (4-6).
The Pirates season concludes tomorrow afternoon with one final meeting with the Indians. JT Brubaker (1-3) is scheduled to pitch for Pittsburgh, while Cleveland hasn’t yet announced a starter. First pitch in that matchup is set for 3:10 at Progressive Field.