The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the cross-state rival Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies defeated their inter-state rival Pittsburgh Pirates by a 6-2 score on Wednesday night in South Philly, demonstrating that the gap between the two Pennsylvania teams is narrowing.
Last year the Phillies were the worst team in baseball, while the cross-state rival Pirates advanced to the playoffs for a third consecutive year.
Prior to that, it was the Phils as clearly the best team in the Commonwealth, as they won five consecutive NL East crowns and a World Series title.
The two teams were never competitive at the same time over the last decade, and have not been playing in the same division since the 1993 season, so their all-time rivalry has diminished some.
However, bragging rights as the best team in Pennsylvania are now once again coming up for grabs. Where the Bucs finished 35 games ahead of the Phils in 2015, the victory on Wednesday night pulled the Fightin’ Phils to within just six games of the Pirates.
Rookie starting pitcher Jake Thompson took another step forward in his development in this one. He fought through six innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits while walking three and striking out three batters.
Thompson (2-5) threw 53 strikes among his 90 pitches, and really only struggled through one inning, the top of the 4th when the Pirates put their only two runs on the board.
By that point, the Phils bats had spotted him a 4-0 lead. Freddy Galvis powered his 19th home run of the season as a two-run shot in the bottom of the 2nd inning.
The Pirates got their runs on two hits, a walk, and a sacrifice fly, with one of those hits being Andrew McCutchen‘s 21st home run of the season.
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That drove Pittsburgh starter Steven Brault from the game. Brault (0-3) allowed three earned runs on nine hits over just 3.2 innings.
In the bottom of the 6th, Joseph blasted his 19th home run of the season off reliever Drew Hutchison into the left field seats to complete the scoring.
But as he has so often this season, Gomez pitched out of the trouble, striking out pinch-hitter Jason Rogers swinging to earn his 37th Save of the season.