The Pittsburgh Pirates improved to 6-3 on the season after defeating the Chicago White Sox 1-0 on Easter Sunday, securing the club’s second series win of the year.
Johan Oviedo pitched superbly on the mound for Pittsburgh in the win, going six and two-thirds innings, allowing five hits while picking up five strikeouts and, most importantly, keeping Chicago out of the run column. The win belongs to Oviedo, his first of the season.
Johan Oviedo, Nasty 87mph Slider.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 9, 2023
5th K pic.twitter.com/vW4JlV9W4I
David Bednar notched his fourth save in the early going, striking out two in his inning of work to shut the door on the visiting White Sox.
The only run of the game came on Jack Suwinski’s sacrifice fly to deep centerfield. Suwinski, who looked outmatched by Chicago’s Michael Kopech for most of the at-bat, found a way to put good wood on the ball and send it deep enough to bring in Caanan Smith-Njigba, who tripled a batter prior to Suwinski’s turn.
But it wasn’t all positive for the Bucs in the series finale. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Oneil Cruz attempted to score from third on a Ke’Bryan Hayes ground ball to third base. As Sox catcher Seby Zavala caught the ball, Cruz attempted a slide, crashing awkwardly into the Chicago backstop. Cruz, who was tagged out, immediately began to writhe in pain, as Zavala had words for the Bucs’ shortstop. Carlos Santana took exception to Zavala’s chirping and initiated a scrum. The benches cleared while Cruz remained on the ground.
Benches clear in Pittsburgh after a play at the plate involving Oneil Cruz— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) April 9, 2023
It was later revealed that Cruz suffered a fractured ankle on the play. A timetable for return is currently unknown.
The Pirates return to action tomorrow to begin a three game set with the defending champion Houston Astros at PNC Park. A 6:35 eastern first pitch is slated with Roansy Contreras pitching for Pittsburgh, while Framber Valdez will take the ball for Houston.