The Pittsburgh Pirates (46-51) pitching cooled off the Philadelphia Phillies (51-48) bats on a steamy, hot summer night at PNC Park to give the hosts a 5-1 victory.
With the win, the Bucs rewarded the sellout crowd who showed up to pay homage to their 1979 Pirates club in celebration of the 40th anniversary of that “We Are Family” team winning the World Series.
As part of that celebration, both teams wore throwback uniforms. The Pirates adorned in black, the Phillies wearing their popular powder blues from that era.
The sharp-looking uniforms wouldn’t help the visiting Phillies even a little bit. They managed to muster just three hits all night, and their only run was of the unearned variety.
Pittsburgh jumped out on top first, scoring three times in the bottom of the 3rd inning, and it was the Pirates starting pitcher Joe Musgrove who got it going. He doubled, then rolled home with a head-first slide on a Bryan Reynolds base hit. Reynolds then scored on a double by Starling Marte, who then scored himself on a base hit off the bat of Josh Bell.
The Phillies finally pushed through with an unearned run off Musgrove in the top of the 5th inning before a short rain delay caused a stoppage. When play resumed, Musgrove stayed as hot as the weather, striking out Scott Kingery with a runner at third base and two outs.
In the home 6th, the Pirates traded a double play for a run to up their lead to 4-1. Then in the bottom of the 7th, newcomer Mike Morin took the mound after being acquired by the Phillies just this morning in a deal with the Minnesota Twins for cash considerations. Morin surrendered doubles to both Marte and Colin Moran, the latter driving in the run that provided the final 5-1 score.
After Musgrove had shut the Phillies down over the first six frames, he was followed to the mound by Michael Feliz, Francisco Liriano and Felipe Vazquez. That trio each tossed one shutout inning, and combined to allow the Phillies just one hit while walking one and striking out two.
The two teams will go at it once again on what promises to be a third consecutive midsummer steam bath in Sunday afternoon’s series finale rubber match. Expected to make his first start on the mound for the Phillies is lefty newcomer Drew Smyly. The Pirates have yet to announce their starting pitcher.
SHIBE VINTAGE SPORTS STARTING PITCHING PERFORMANCE
PHILLIES – Zach Eflin: 4 IP, 5 hits, 3 earned, 0 BB, 3 strikeouts. 57 pitches, 40 for strikes.
PIRATES – Joe Musgrove: 6 IP, 2 hits, 1 run (unearned), 2 walks, 8 strikeouts. 98 pitches, 64 for strikes.
PHILLIES NUGGETS PLAYER OF THE GAME: JOE MUSGROVE
Not even a short rain delay in the middle of the game could derail Musgrove. The 26-year-old right-hander came out of that delay to end the only real threat against him, striking out Scott Kingery with a runner on third base and the Pirates holding just a 3-1 lead.
Musgrove retired eight straight at one point, and allowed just two hits, both to Phillies shortstop Jean Segura. Those came on singles in both the first and sixth innings. He raised his record to 7-8 on the season, lowering his ERA to the 4.08 mark.
That was on the mound. Musgrove also got the Pirates on the board first with his head-first slide in the bottom of the 3rd inning, which followed on the heels of the double that he swatted to the left field wall.
TICKET IQ NEXT GAME
- Sunday July 21 at 1:35 pm EDT vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP; WTTM 1680 (Spanish)
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