The Pittsburgh Pirates finally got it together with their bats led by youngster Oneil Cruz, and pitcher Roansy Contreras continues to have good starts as the Bucs had it rollin’ in multiple phases with an 8-2 over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.
Cruz finished the day 3-for-5 with three RBIs along with a double and a triple to raise his average on the season to .226 up from sub .200 just two weeks ago and continues to look better and better at the plate as he gets comfortable.
Oneil Cruz is so fun to watch. pic.twitter.com/QcHU7IPrxt— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) September 10, 2022
In fact, all of the Pirate bats had their mojo workin’ on Friday night, as the Buccos pounded out 15 hits on the evening and every starter had at least one knock. Cal Mitchell was a perfect 3-for-3, Bryan Reynolds was 2-for-5, and Ke’Bryan Hayes returned to the lineup to go 2-for-4. Ben Gamel only had one hit, but it was a solo home run that got the scoring started in the second inning.
Ben Gamel - Pittsburgh Pirates (8) pic.twitter.com/cWGppdpCtv— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) September 9, 2022
Michael Chavis also had a two-run triple that helped put the game away late.
On the mound, Contreras was cruising, as he went five and one third inning, giving up just one run on four hits with two walks and a strikeout. He picked up his fifth win of the season to move to 5-4 and the bullpen combined to give up just one run the rest of the way.
After somewhat slow starts, Cruz and Contreras have been showing glimpses of why the orgnization is so high on them, and if they can continue their development, they should both be key pieces of Pittsburgh’s future.
In an otherwise bleak season, watching those two play ball has been pretty fun.