Tuesday night’s series opener against Tampa Bay, would feature a pitcher’s duel between Trevor Williams and Alex Cobb. Trevor Williams put together his best outing of the season, but left in line for the loss after a gem put together by Alex Cobb. The Rays got on the board first, when a lead off single Corey Dickerson was followed by a one out single by Logan Morrison, to put runners at the corners with one out. Steven Souza Jr. would ground out to drive in the run, on a play that was challenged by the Rays, but the out on the field was upheld at second base. The Rays would not score again until the top of the 8th inning, when Trevor Williams allowed a lead off double to Tim Beckham, which was followed by an RBI single by newly acquired Adeiny Hechevarria. This would chase Trevor Williams from the ball game, leaving him with seven plus innings pitched, six hits allowed, two earned runs, no walks and seven strike outs on the night. Without any run support while he was in the ball game, Williams would leave in line for the loss.
The Pirates were held without a hit for the first six innings against Alex Cobb. Their best scoring opportunity would come against him in the 7th inning, when Josh Harrison and Andrew McCutchen recorded back to back singles to lead off the inning. Josh Bell hit a 2-0 fastball hard the other way, but right at Evan Longoria for a rally killing double play. David Freese would ground out to third to end that inning, in an at bat that could have tied the ballgame at one to one. The Pirates finally got on the board in the 9th inning, after Adam Frazier was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and Josh Harrison hit a one out double to put the tying runs in scoring position against Tampa Bay closer Alex Colome. Andrew McCutchen followed that with his first RBI hit back in the third spot in the batting lineup this season, and he would end up representing the winning run at second base after the double. The Pirates would load the bases with two outs, before Jordy Mercer flew out to left field on a 1-0 fastball down the middle of the plate. The Pirates big ninth inning rally would give them a chance to win the ball game, but they would eventually fall short in the deciding at bats of the game.
Leading off the 10th inning, Souza hit the first pitch back up the middle for a single against Felipe Rivero. Wilson Ramos turned on a Felipe Rivero fastball and hit a ground ball to David Freese, that was badly misplayed into a multi-base error. This gave the Rays the lead, along with giving them the opportunity to add an insurance run. After a walk and a wild pitch, Hechevarria would hit a sacrifice fly to left field to extend the Rays lead to 4-2. This would be all the Rays would need on the night, as Elias Diaz, John Jaso and Adam Frazier went quietly against Tommy Hunter in the bottom of the tenth inning. With the win, the Rays improved to 41-38, while the Pirates dropped to 35-42 on the season.
Tune in tomorrow night as Ivan Nova (7-5, 3.06 ERA) takes the mound to take on Blake Snell (0-4, 4.71 ERA) and the Tampa Bay Rays in the second game of a three game set at PNC Park.