Pirates Can’t Hold Lead In Game 2 Of Exhibition Series

The Pirates lost Saturday nights game against Cleveland because of an unreliable bullpen. Game 2 of the exhibition series was no different; the Bucs took an early lead then found themselves in a hole. After taking an early lead, they couldn’t hold on. The Indians’ offense proved too much for the Pirates’ lackluster bullpen.

An Early Lead

Trevor Williams took the mound for the Pirates tonight and looked really sharp. He found the strike zone well. Williams pitched 2.2 innings, giving up two hits, one earned run and striking out one. Chris Stratton came in to relieve Williams with two outs in the bottom of the 3rd.

The runs started for the Bucs in the 2nd inning, when Colin Moran singled to shallow center. This set up a Phillip Evans homerun off of Mike Clevinger, making the game 2-0.

Cleveland tied the game in the bottom of the 3rd when Jose Ramirez singled to right, which scored Bradley Zimmer. When Francisco Lindor walked up to the plate, he whacked a double to deep center scoring Ramirez. The Lindor RBI tied the 2-2.

With two outs in the bottom of the 5th, the Indians scored again off a Jordan Luplow homerun. The Indians took a commanding 7-3 lead over the Bucs. However the Pirates answered in the 6th with a Josh Bell homerun.

Michael Feliz came into the game to relieve Rodriguez. Rodriguez gathered four earned runs, three hits in just one inning pitched.

Out Of Reach

After what could have been a harmless inning for the Bucs, the Indians hit another homerun. Mike Freeman went yard against Feliz to bring the game back to a four-run game. 

The Pirates threatened again early in the 7th when Jose Osuna singled to center. Afterwards, John Ryan Murphy worked a walk in his third at bat. Socrates Brito singled loading the bases for the Bucs with no one out. Adam Frazier was walked with two outs, scoring Rodolfo Castro, who was pinch running. The Bucs were able to cut into the lead making it an 8-5 game.

Since the Pirates were able to dig into the lead, Feliz’s night was over.  Pittsburgh called on Dovydas Neverauskas. Feliz struck out two with one earned run in one inning pitched.

The Indians didn’t let up and in the bottom of the 7th, they extended their lead. Shortstop, Yu Chang singled to left, Jake Elmore ripped a double that scored Chang. Greg Allen then reached on a single that scored Elmore. The Indians led 10-5, and had their fifth scoring inning in a row.

Pittsburgh started the 8th with a bang after Moran homered. After, Phillip Evans reached on a double. With no outs Osuna got on base thanks to an infield single, Evans scored due to a throwing error. Castro would walk, and Bitro singled to load the bases.

The Pirates failed to capitalize on another bases loaded opportunity. It seems they cannot apply pressure on the Indians and make them pay for mistakes. Although they scored early in the inning, the Bucs continue to leave runners stranded.

The last scoring play of the game came off of Jake Bauers’ bat when he hammered a homerun making the score 11-7. The Pirates had their chances to score and take the lead, however they couldn’t exploit Cleveland’s mistakes. And although the game was one-sided, the Bucs fought.

The bullpen was again unreliable, and will be a problem in the shortened season. The Bucs play Cleveland tomorrow night at PNC Park to finish the exhibition series. On Friday, they play the St. Louis Cardinals on Opening Day.

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