The recent theme of Pirates starting pitchers, allowing home runs, would continue as the Pirates took the field for the first of a two game set in Baltimore. Ivan Nova had a lead off home run crushed to center field against him by Seth Smith, before settling in for another quality start. Nova would go the next six innings pitched with only two more hits allowed, before allowing back to back home runs to start the bottom of the seventh inning against the Orioles. He would then leave with an apparent injury, after missing his spot badly against Chris Davis and Jonathan Schoop to start the seventh inning. Nova would finish the night by allowing three earned runs, all on solo home runs in six plus innings of work. Ivan Nova would not be the only Pirate pitcher victimized by the long ball on the night, as Tony Watson gave up a no out two-run home run to Schoop, registering another blown save after starting the inning with a five to three lead. This would ultimately start the slide for the Pirates, from well played win to a crushing extra inning defeat.
The Pirates offense got going early in support of Ivan Nova, as they would strike for three in the second inning immediately following the Orioles taking the first inning lead. An RBI single to right field by Andrew McCutchen, an RBI double to center field by John Jaso, and an RBI ground out by Jordy Mercer would get the Pirates going early. They would threaten in a couple frames following the big second inning, but they would not score again until David Freese hit a solo home run to right center field in the top of the sixth inning. All of these runs came against Orioles starting pitcher Kevin Gausman, who finished the night by allowing four earned runs in six and two-thirds innings of work. After the Orioles cut into the Pirates lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, an RBI triple by Josh Harrison in the top of the ninth inning against Darren O’Day, looked like it could be the finishing touches on a Pirates road win. All of that would go for nothing however, once Tony Watson’s blown save put the game up for grabs heading into extra innings.
Brad Brach would pitch a 1-2-3 inning for the Orioles in the top of the tenth inning, by striking out David Freese, getting a sharp line drive out to third off Josh Bell’s bat, and a grounder to short from Andrew McCutchen. The Orioles put together their winning rally in the bottom of the tenth, and it started with Adam Jones’ one out single against Pirates left handed reliever Wade LeBlanc. After Adam Frazier robbed Manny Machado of a walk-off home run, Adam Jones moved up to second base on the long fly ball to left field. Mark Trumbo would line a single to center field with two outs in the bottom of the tenth, and Adam Jones beat McCutchen’s strong throw to the plate to give the Orioles the win. With the win, the Orioles improved to 30-26 on the season, while the Pirates dropped to 26-32.
Tune in tomorrow evening as Chad Kuhl (6.02 ERA/4.08 FIP) takes the mound to face Wade Miley (2.82 ERA/4.40 FIP) and the Orioles, at Camden Yards in Baltimore.