Less than a week after earning a four-game road sweep against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Pittsburgh Pirates fell to the same Brewers 1-0 Friday night at PNC Park.
This loss comes after a 1-5 mark during the team’s last homestand, and now the Pirates fall to 67-65 on the season which is 2.5 games behind St. Louis for the second and final National League wild card spot.
The Pirates did out-hit the Brewers in this game by a 7-3 margin, but it was what was done on the base paths that did the home team in.
Starling Marte was the first victim after he was caught stealing following a second-inning lead-off single. After Francisco Cervelli walked, Jordy Mercer singled, likely scoring Marte had he remained at first base.
The second to fall victim was pinch-runner Alen Hanson, who was picked off first base by Carlos Torres to end the seventh inning.
Josh Harrison’s eighth-inning gaffe though will be the one reflected upon most when describing this game.
Harrison singled off Corey Knebel to lead off the inning, and then the reliever misfired on a pick-off throw. Harrison advanced to second base, and then was tagged out trying to take third.
It ended up that Harrison ran to second base and Pirates third base coach Rick Sofield motioned for the second baseman to advance another 90 feet.
This suggestion was made with no outs and Josh Bell, Andrew McCutchen and Gregory Polanco due up.
McCutchen had a team-high three hits in the game including a single in that inning.
Sofield was unavailable to Pirates reporters after the game.
Brewers starter Junior Guerra was reinstated from the disabled list and pitched 3.1 innings.
It took seven Brewers pitchers to get through the game but they got through the game with Blaine Boyer (2-3) earning the win.
Jameson Taillon (3-4) was responsible for the lone run of the game, which came on a sixth-inning, two-out Scooter Gennett double that scored Martin Maldonado.
Taillon allowed six hits and had eight ground ball outs in his outing.
Saturday Ivan Nova (11-6, 4.41 ERA) takes on Jimmy Nelson (7-13, 4.45 ERA). Nova is 4-0 with a 2.87 ERA in five starts as a Pirate. He pitched this past weekend in his lone career start against the Brewers allowing a run in six innings while picking up the win.
The Pirates called up Taillon to make this start. He joined Adam Frazier, Steven Brault and Jason Rogers as September call-ups. Chris Stewart was activated from the 15-day DL missing 49 games. Taillon and Frazier were allowed to be called up less than 10 days after being sent down because they were with the team’s Bristol affiliate and their season ended allowing for the call-up to occur.
Photo credit: @Pirates