Adam Frazier went 4-for-5, including hits in the first, seventh, and tenth that lead directly to runs, while the Bucs bullpen took over from starter Wil Crowe and didn’t give up a single run to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-4 extra-inning win over the Atlanta Braves.
Frazier scored in the first after Jacob Stallings went yard on a Drew Smyly curveball, then had the game-tying single in the seventh that scored Ben Gamel, and started the rally in the tenth with a single that eventually lead to the Pittsburgh victory.
Frazier now has a Major-League leading 58 hits on the season and raised his average to .339, including 15-27 over the past week. He’s clearly the Bucs’ MVP at this point in the season.
Bryan Reynolds went 2-for-4, including his fourth home run of the season, this one to dead center, off of a Drew Smyly fastball.
The Bucs also got a two-hit night from Will Craig, who went 2-for-4, and Kevin Newman finished 1-for-4, but came through with a clutch single in the tenth that scored Ben Gamel and helped push the Bucs to victory. He then scored on a sacrifice fly by Gregory Polanco to round out the scoring for the Bucs.
El Coffey was 0-for-4 with that RBI, but he’s been showing signs of life lately, and that’s nothing but good news for the Pirates.
Gregory Polanco last 7 games:— Pirates of the Allegheny (@OfTheAllegheny) May 21, 2021
3 BB/6 K
.522 slugging %
As for the pitching, Wil Crowe went five innings, giving up four runs on seven hits while striking out seven and walking three, but it was Pittsburgh’s bullpen that really brought this win home.
Clay Holmes, David Bednar, Chris Statton, and Richard Rodriguez combined to pitch five scoreless innings, giving up just one total hit and striking out five total. Rodriguez pitched the ninth and tenth for the victory. He moves to 3-0 on the year and has now gone 17 games without allowing a walk.
The Bucs move to just 18-25, but there’s been some real bright spots on the season, and if they can continue to get some signs of life at the plate in advance of the returns of Ke’Bryan Hayes and Colin Moran, they might surprise some teams this season.
The second game of this series starts tonight at 7:20, with two afternoon tilts on tap for weekend, with a 4:10pm Saturday start and a 1:20pm Sunday start. Would be nice to see the Bucs take this series.