Pittsburgh Takes Keystone Series Opener


6. 4. 4. Final. 3

The Pittsburgh Pirates (16-16) used one bad inning from Phillies (11-22) starter Jerome Williams to produce just enough offense to win the opener of a 4-game Keystone Series at Citizens Bank Park. It was the 4th win in 5 games for the Bucs, while the Phils have lost 5 of 6.

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The Phillies jumped out on top with a run in the bottom of the 1st inning against young Pirates ace Gerrit Cole (5-1) thanks to three consecutive 2-out singles. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard started it, and then Grady Sizemore‘s hit scored Utley to make it 1-0.

In the top of the 3rd, it was a bout with wildness that really did in Phillies starter Williams (2-3), along with one horrendous pitch in particular. Williams walked both Gregory Polanco and Andrew McCutchen. Then with two outs, he left a 1-2 curveball over the middle of the plate to Starling Marte, who drove it over the wall in left center field, putting the Bucs up 3-1.

In the bottom of the 6th, another clutch 2-out hit from Sizemore produced the 2nd run, scoring Freddy Galvis, who had led off the inning with a walk and moved into scoring position when Ryan Howard was hit by a pitch from Cole.

Jake Diekman came on for the top of the 7th, and immediately proceeded to do something that he has done far too frequently this season, giving a run right back to the opposition. With one out, Polanco singled and Neil Walker drew a walk on a pitch that got away from Carlos Ruiz. When Chooch threw the ball away, Polanco moved to 3rd, and he would score on a sac fly from McCutchen.

May 11, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher GCole (45) throws a pitch during the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Cole would finish up his night after working the bottom of the 7th. He allowed just 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 6 Phillies batters and tossing 94 pitches, 60 for strikes. Jared Hughes would pitch the 8th, allowing a hit, but striking out a batter and sending it to the 9th with the 4-2 lead intact for Pittsburgh.

Down two runs headed into the 9th, the Phillies were in bad shape, 0-19 this year in games in which they trailed after 8 innings. But Odubel Herrera snapped out of a slump to lead it off, smacking his first big league homerun over the right field wall off Pittsburgh closer Mark Melancon, cutting it to 4-3.

With one out, Ruiz singled to center to put the tying run on base. But pinch-hitter Darin Ruf flew out easily to right, and Revere popped out to center, and the Phillies were 0-20 when trailing after 8 innings.

Tomorrow night at 7:05pm, former Phillies starter A.J. Burnett will take the mound. The Phils will counter with Sean O’Sullivan, who will be coming off the DL after missing three weeks with left knee tendonitis.