Roansy Contreras got the start and had the longest outing of his career to date, going for seven innings, giving up just two runs on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts, but he did make one big mistake in giving up a two-run homer in the fifth to Michael Harris II.
It was his only slip-up of the night, but with the Pittsburgh bats once again pretty silent — getting only five hits total — it was enough.
Oneil Cruz stepped up in the bottom of the fifth to bring the Buccos within one run by hitting a towering solo shot, his 10th dinger of the year, but the Bucs would get no closer.
Pittsburgh would have another scoring opportunity in the eighth to tie the game, but Kevin Newman, who has been playing pretty well of late, grounded out with a runner on second to end the threat.
The Buccos continued their issues with runners in scoring position, finishing the night 0-for-4, and they also struck out 10 times on the night, another recurring theme this season. Believe it or not, however, the Bucs actually had one more hit than the Braves.
It’s good to see two of the yongsters stepping up, thought it certainly would have been better had the Pirates managed to pull out the victory.
An interesting side note, with Cruz’s 10th homer, that now gives the Bucs three rookies with 10-plus homers for the first time in franchise history, as Cruz joins Jack Suwinski (14) and Diego Castillo (10).
The Bucs are back at it tonight at 7:05pm.