Pirates for 3! Yes! Triples lead Pirates to Phillies 5-0
PHILADELPHIA — – Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos, Kyle Schwarber and the Phillies have embarked on a race for the pennants beating some of baseball’s worst teams. The Pirates had been no exception – 0-6 this season against their most successful interstate rivals.
Roansy Contreras and a trio of triples helped the Pirates avoid a season sweep.
Oneil Cruz, Tucupita Marcano and Bryan Reynolds all tripled and scored, and Contreras struck out seven in five innings to lift Pittsburgh past Philadelphia 5-0 on Sunday and end a seven-game losing streak.
The Pirates won only the third time in 16 games and they also ended the Phillies’ six-game winning streak.
The Pirates became the second team this season to hit three triples in a game. It was the first time they had accomplished this feat since May 25, 2018.
“I think our guys had some really good reads off the bat thinking three,” manager Derek Shelton said. “I think it’s to our three guys’ credit that they went strong right out of the box.”
Cruz started the parade at three banders when he lined one up to cross Noah Syndergaard (8-9) on the second pitch of the game. Ke’Bryan Hayes scored a single on the third pitch for a 1-0 lead. Marcano tripled in the fourth and scored on Greg Allen’s sacrifice bunt. Reynolds tripled right in the sixth and scored on Michael Chavis’ single.
Three triples, three runs.
The rare good news for the Pirates came in threes.
Bligh Madris chased Syndergaard in the sixth on a line double off the right field wall that made it 5-0.
“Frustrating outing but I think there are a lot of positives to take for my next start,” Syndergaard said.
The Phillies still hold the NL’s second wild card as they head out on a six-game road trip including three in Arizona and three in San Francisco. Both teams have losing records, and the Phillies have feasted on the sub-.500 crew since interim manager Rob Thomson took over on June 3. The Phillies won two of three against the Pirates after sweeping a four-game set against the Reds.
They have won two more series since the All-Star break against the Pirates and Reds and won series against Washington and Miami. There was no fading late in the summer against other players who could cost the Phillies a playoff berth like there has been in recent seasons. At least not yet – and September is loaded with playoffs against the Marlins, Nationals and Chicago Cubs.
“Maybe it’s just a personnel difference,” Thomson said. “We’re a better ball club than we’ve been in the past. We just have better talent, that’s part of it.”
Maybe, but Schwarber, Castellanos, Alec Bohm and Harper (the top four hitters in order) went 1 for 12 in the game and neither Phillies could beat Contreras (4-4). He allowed three hits and scored two goals in his first win since July 7. He combined with three relievers on four hits.
“We take the positive out of the winning homestand,” Schwarber said. “We need to take that momentum in Arizona, get three there and take a little break and carry on from there.”
IT’S THAT SIMPLE
Phillies wide receiver JT Realmuto caught Hayes and Allen stealing.
“He’s the best receiver in the game, by any standard,” Syndergaard said.
The Phillies were shut out for the 12th time this season and the fifth time since Aug. 11. The Pirates completed their fourth shutout this season and the first since July 23. The Pirates staff ended the series with 13 straight scoreless innings. The Phillies bullpen tightened after Syndergaard left and pitched 3 1/3 perfect innings.
Pirates: Claimed RHP Robert Stephenson out of Colorado waivers and placed RHP JT Brubaker on the paternity list.
Phillies: RHP Zach Eflin (right knee) could return to a bullpen role at some point this season. Eflin (3-5, 4.37 ERA) hasn’t pitched since June 25 and could throw a bullpen session this week.
DAD & SON
Former Pirates and Phillies third baseman Charlie Hayes threw a ceremonial first pitch to his son, Ke’Bryan.
The Pirates have yet to name a starter for Monday’s opener of a three-game series in Milwaukee. Corbin Burnes (9-6, 2.84 ERA) pitches for the Brewers. Pittsburgh has won five straight against Milwaukee.
The Phillies head to Arizona, sending Ranger Suárez (8-5, 3.33 ERA) to the mound against Madison Bumgarner (6-13, 4.53 ERA) on Monday in Game 1 of a three-game series .