Pittsburgh Pirates starter Wil Crowe continued to struggle in last night’s loss to the Kansas City Royals, going just four innings pitched while giving up eight runs on eights hits, including two dingers, one a grand slam, as the Bucs jumped out to a 4-1 lead but were unable to hold it in a 10-5 loss to the Royals that ended their short two-game set in a sweep for KC.
Despite a pretty decent start to the night for Crowe, he gave up a two-run shot to Salvador Perez in the fourth off of a slider and then totally collapsed the next inning, walking the bases loaded before giving up the slammer to Andrew Benintendi off of a fastball. The look on Crowe’s face says it all.
First-pitch slamming.#TogetherRoyal pic.twitter.com/f1xIt71fRO— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) June 2, 2021
The Bucs tried to rally in the sixth, getting one on the board with an Adam Frazier double that scored Wilmer Difo, but they were also victimized by a rally-killing inexplicable play call.
The Pirates were threatening to score again in the inning, with bases loaded and two outs, when Royals catcher Perez lost track of a pitch in the dirt by Kyle Zimmer. Kevin Newman looked like he scored to make it an 8-6 game with the two tying runs not just on base, but in scoring position. But it was ruled that Bryan Reynolds, who was at-bat for the wild pitch, interfered with the play. In reality, he was simply sliding out of the way, and this was an ugly missed call by home plate ump Dan Bellino.
Bryan Reynolds was called out for interference here despite the catcher attempting to tag Reynolds and not even making a play to the plate pic.twitter.com/xWWJ3czyhw— Bad Sports Refs (@BadSportsRefs) June 2, 2021
Just a totally ridiculous call by Bellino and one the Bucs never recovered from, as the run was wiped off the board and the inning was over. The Royals would snag two more runs, including a solo shot by Perez, his second dinger of the night, off of Chasen Shreve, to arrive at your final score.
Crowe falls to 0-4 on the season, with an ERA that has ballooned up 7.26, and even the Pirates’ usually reliable bullpen struggled at times, giving up two runs on four combined hits over four innings of relief work.
At the plate, Frazier went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI to raise his team-leading average to .335 on the year, and the Bucs also got multi-hit games from Wilmer Difo, Kevin Newman, and Michael Perez, who all went 2-for-4.
With the sweep, the Bucs fall to 20-34 on the year and will have Wednesday off before returning back to the friendly confined of PNC park on Thursday for a four-game set with the Miami Marlins. Ke’Bryan Hayes is expected back for this series, and he can hopefully provide the team with a jolt.