Polanco went 2-for-3 with a walk and a double in Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Phillies.
The Pirates as a team only managed six hits on the night, preventing Polanco from capitalizing on his first multi-hit game in over a week. The 26-year-old has been unlucky on balls in play so far, but he’s walking at a career-high clip so far and could be poised for a breakout once his batting average begins to rise.
The Pirates who until very recently led the National league in run scoring had suddenly stopped finding their way home. Other than a ten run explosion on Wednesday against Colorado, the team has failed to score more than one run in any game this week.
Tonight their scoreless streak extended to 14 innings facing the Phillies unheralded starter Ben Lively, who came into the game with a 4.50 career ERA. Fortunately Iva Nova was matching the zeroes on the scoreboard when the Pirates struck first in the top of the sixth inning. With one out, Francisco Cervelli was hit by a pitch and went to third on Colin Moran’s line drive to left that Rhys Hoskins played into a double. Jordy Mercer then lifted a high fly to deep right field to plate Cervelli and give the Pirates a short-lived 1-0 lead.
Having thrown 76 pitches through five, Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle allowed Nova to stay in the game and make the last out of the sixth, but Nova struggled when he came back out to the mound. After Cesar Hernandez struck out swinging Carlos Santana and Odubel Herrera laced singles to put runners at first and third with one out. Hoskins then grounded the ball to third, but Colin Moran passed up a throw home to try in vain for a double play, with Hoskins beating Adam Frazier’s throw to first as Santana crossed home with the tying run.
Michael Feliz came on to strike out a pair in the seventh, but George Kontos, who’s managed only two strikeouts in nine innings all year, didn’t fair as well. Hernandez lined a double into the right field corner at 103 mph. Santana grounded out to first at 103, moving Hernandez, representing the lead run, to third. Then Herrera ripped a grounder at 106 past Josh Bell and into the right field corner for a triple, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead. After walking Rhys Hoskins, Kontos managed to get the final two outs by picking off both base runners. The play began 1-3-4 on Hoskins, then Frazier threw home where Cervelli tagged out Herrera. Seeing Hoskins lollygagging into third, Cervelli threw to Moran who fired to the center fielder Marte who flipped to the left fielder Dickerson who applied the tag for the third out. 1-3-4-2-5-8-7. Polanco and Mercer observed.
Oh yeah. The Pirates tried to mount a rally in the ninth as Mercer doubled with one out, but David Freese popped up and Frazier grounded out against some reliever I’d never heard of as the Phils sealed their second win in as many games.
The wife and I will be making a day trip to Philly for the 4 pm start which pits Steven Brault against Aaron Nola. It might be a long drive home.
The Pittsburgh Pirates‘ offense awoke from a brief slumber with 13 hits Wednesday in a 10-2 win over the visiting Colorado Rockies.
The Pirates (12-6) broke their only two-game losing streak of the season and avoided being swept by the Rockies (11-9).
Sean Rodriguez hit a two-run homer, Josh Bell was 2-for-5 with three RBIs and Adam Frazier was 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored to lead the way for the Pirates, who managed just two runs and nine hits over the first two games. They entered the three-game series averaging 5.8 runs a game.
Pittsburgh starter Chad Kuhl (2-1) pitched six innings, allowing a run on four hits, with four strikeouts and three walks.
Kyle Crick pitched a scoreless seventh. Enny Romero, making his Pirates debut, pitched the final two innings. He gave up a double to Gerardo Parra and a RBI groundout by Ian Desmond in the eighth for Colorado’s second run.
Romero also got his first major league hit, a double in the eighth, and scored Pittsburgh’s eighth run on Jordy Mercer‘s sacrifice fly.
Rockies starter Kyle Freeland (0-3) lasted four-plus innings, giving up five runs and six hits, with two walks and two strikeouts.
Colorado right fielder Carlos Gonzalez left the game in the fifth for unspecified reasons.
After Chris Iannetta launched a 432-foot, two-out solo homer in the first for the Rockies, the Pirates went to work. David Freese drew a two-out walk in the fourth and scored on Rodriguez’s shot to left. Elias Diaz singled and scored on Max Moroff’s double to the warning track in center to make it 3-1.
Pittsburgh added three more in the fifth.
Frazier led off with a single to end an 0-for-11 skid. Jordy Mercer singled, chasing Freeland. An out later against Scott Oberg, Bell’s single brought Frazier home, and David Freese followed with a two-RBI double to make it 6-1.
Frazier added an RBI single in the sixth for a 7-1 Pirates lead, and the Pirates added three more in the eighth, including a two-RBI double by Bell.
–Field Level Media
PITTSBURGH — It was 34 degrees and snowing for the first pitch of the Rockies-Pirates game at PNC Park on Tuesday night, making it the coldest road game in Rockies history.
But it was starter Chad Bettis who had a chilling effect on the Bucs’ bats in a 2-0 Colorado victory.
Off to the best start of his career, the 28-year-old right-hander allowed no runs on five hits over 7 ⅓ innings. He walked two and struck out three. Mostly, he controlled the game, pounding the strike zone and inducing 11 groundball outs. Pittsburgh did not reach third base until the eighth inning when Jordy Mercer led off with a double and advanced to third on Adam Frazier’s groundout to second.
Into the game came right-handed reliever Bryan Shaw, who induced Sean Rodriguez to chop out to third baseman Ryan McMahon, who threw out Mercer trying to score. Lefty reliever Jake McGee got Gregory Polanco to pop out to McMahon to silence the Pirates’ only rally of the night.
Closer Wade Davis pitched a perfect ninth, with one punch out, to record his eighth save in nine chances.
Bettis improved to 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA — the third-lowest in franchise history for a player’s first four starts. Colorado, 11-8, won for the sixth time in seven games and improved to 9-4 on the road.
Bettis, the craftsman of the Rockies’ staff, needed just 85 pitches to maneuver through the bone-chilling night. He piggybacked on his excellent outing last Thursday at Washington when he allowed one run on three hits over seven innings in Colorado’s 5-1 victory.
Colorado, limited to only five hits, created just enough offense to win the game.
It took a 1-0 lead in the first, stringing together a one-out walk by Gerardo Parra, a single by Charlie Blackmon to advance Parra to third, and an RBI groundout to second by Carlos Gonzalez.
Colorado patched together hits and walks again in the fourth to increase its lead to 2-0. A two-out walk by Ian Desmond, a double by Trevor Story and an RBI single to left by McMahon produced the run. McMahon, the rookie, started at third base in place of all-star third baseman Nolan Arenado, who was serving the fourth game of his five-game suspension for fighting.
Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland (0-2, 4.50 ERA) at Pirates RHP Chad Kuhl (1-1, 5.74), 10:35 a.m. Wednesday; No TV, 850 AM
Freeland is still searching for his first victory of the season, while the Rockies are 1-2 in the three games he’s started. Giving up home runs has been a problem for the left-hander, but so has a lack of run support. The Rockies have scored just four runs when he’s been in the game. Freeland faced the Pirates twice last season as a rookie, going 1-1 with a 4.63 ERA. He did not fare well at PNC Park on June 12, taking the loss after being charged with five runs (four earned) on nine hits over 5 ⅔ innings. Kuhl is 0-2 with a 5.73 ERA in two starts vs. the Rockies, losing to right-hander German Marquez both times. He’s coming off a difficult start at Miami, where the Marlins knocked him around for four runs on 11 hits in five innings.
Thursday: Off day
Friday: Cubs RHP Kyle Kendricks (0-1, 3.71) vs. Rockies RHP Jon Gray (1-3, 6.23), 6:40 p.m.; ATTRM
Saturday: Cubs RHP Yu Darvish (0-1, 6.00) vs. Rockies LHP Tyler Anderson (0-0, 4.73), 6:10 p.m.; ATTRM
Sunday: Cub LHP Jose Quintana (1-1, 8.16) vs. Rockies RHP German Marquez (1-1, 4.34), 1:10 p.m., ATTRM
PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Pirates placed second baseman Josh Harrison on the 10-day disabled list after he broke the pinky finger on his left hand for a second time in a year.
The team said Tuesday that Harrison fractured the fifth metacarpal in the finger when he was hit with a pitch by Miami’s Jose Urena in the third inning of Pittsburgh’s 7-3 win Sunday over the Marlins. He is expected to miss six weeks.
The two-time All-Star broke the same bone last September when he was hit by Cincinnati’s Tyler Mahle.
Todd Tomczyk, the Pirates’ director of sports medicine, called the injury recurrence “very uncommon.”
The Pirates called up infielder Max Moroff from Triple-A Indianapolis to take Harrison’s spot on the roster. Adam Frazier started in place of Harrison at second base on Monday night when the Pirates began a three-game series with Colorado.