Jordan Luplow Gets His First Hit and Home Run in Pirates Win

PITTSBURGH — It took Jordan Luplow 13 major-league at-bats before he recorded his first MLB hit with an infield single in the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.

Apparently unsatisfied with just the one milestone hit, Luplow added another with his first big-league home run in the eighth inning, a three-run homer off Reds reliever Wendy Peralta that did most of the damage in the Pirates’ 5-0 victory.

Luplow is one of the younger players that the Pirates are attempting to get more opportunities as the team plays out the string in the month of September. Luplow was making just his third major-league start since coming up from Triple-A Indianapolis for good on August 28.

While the on-field results of those young players has been mixed so far, Luplow provided an unquestioned spark in the lineup on Saturday.

Luplow’s home run went out to one of the deepest part of the ballparks in the left-center notch and traveled an estimated 393 feet. He started the season slugging with 16 home runs with Double-A Altoona and added seven more with Indy to give him a total of 24 on the season. He had only hit 28 in three pro seasons combined before this year.

“He’s hit the ball all year long, so we knew it was just a matter of time until he started hitting it here,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “The first hit obviously just helped him breathe a little bit more. It’s not a lot of at-bats, but there’s a little anxiety going on. You want to get the first one and move on. He’s got the first two out of the way.”

Luplow admitted that getting the first hit was a weight off his shoulders and said he felt that his grandfather John Luplow, who passed away while Jordan was in high school, was looking down on him.

HE SAID IT

“Oh my God. That’s crazy. That inning was crazy. I thought they were going to catch it. Everybody could tell the velocity. I just hit the ball and I saw it was a fly ball and thought there was no chance.” — Starling Marte on his bloop single in the seventh inning that scored John Jaso from first after a pair of Reds misplays.

GAME IN GRAPHS

Luplow’s power surge has taken some by surprise this season, but the power has always been there, he’s just hitting the ball out of the ballpark now instead of hitting doubles. His ISO spike in Altoona this year did coincide with his biggest home-run totals, but he’s always had about the same level of overall power.

QUICK HITS

***Starter Jameson Taillon got back on track, throwing six shutout innings while allowing just three hits. He combined with relievers A.J. Schugel, Daniel Hudson, and Felipe Rivero to shut out the Reds. Here’s more from Taillon on getting back on track for a strong September after a tough August.

***Second baseman Josh Harrison left the game after being struck by a pitch in the hand in the fifth inning. He is seeking treatment from an orthopedic doctor. The news doesn’t sound promising for Harrison, who was hit an MLB-leading 23rd time this year. He was replaced in the field by Sean Rodriguez.

***Marte finished the day 3 for 5 with another RBI in addition to his single that scored Jaso, but after the game, he was mostly smiling because of the success of Luplow. Marte got to know Luplow a bit while the two were in Indianapolis together earlier this year.

“When I saw those kids out there and they did something they think was wrong, they’d come to me and I’d say, ‘Don’t worry about it. Do what you do every day. Feel comfortable and keep fighting,'” Marte said. “Everything is different here. Everything is on computer, launches angles, all the positions they play you, but at the same time, it’s still fighting every inning you get in there.”

  • So what do we call it when Luplow hits a dinger? Luplow delivers a blow?

    That’s all I’ve got, and I’m sorely disappointed in myself for that.

  • Luplow won’t see another AB until Thursday.

  • He is a happening kind of guy with his BRIXTON SUPPLY hat. I am glad he hit the homer because his first hit was sort of cheesy. Now son Hurdle will bench you in favor of one of his pets. But nice job.

  • Polanco is out of shape and does not look like he cares. McCutchen age has caught up to him, he needs to play only 3 or 4 games out of 5, no team is going to pay him 15 mil next year. Pirates better hope both Meadows and Luplow pan out next year.

    • Somebody will give Cutch at least 3/50.

      There are currently 66 players making more than $15/year. Only 12 of those have a higher WAR than Cutch’s 3.0.

      That’s 82% of players making more than $15 mill/year who are performing worse than Cutch. In many cases much, much worse.

      Lots of bad contracts out there. Somebody is always willing to pay for past performance and name.

  • I have liked Luplow every since we drafted him. Strikes me as a good #5 or #6 hitter who could hit .260-.280, with 20-25 homers, and above average plate discipline. Who knows how the outfield plays out next year, but it could be Luplow, Marte, and Polanco, while Meadows tries to stay healthy and conquer AAA. Just don’t know what to say about McCutchen. I was hoping they would extend him (admittedly a long shot) or let him play out the option, but this August and early Sept. stretch has been horrendous. He hurt their chances to contend probably more than any other player.

  • Congratulations to Jordan Luplow – he earned the opportunity and took advantage of getting the start. How bad was he at 3B in Lo A? Worth investing some time with him? Played 3B in HS, not sure if he played any 3B at Fresno St. Great start by Jameson Taillon, and Diaz looked good behind the plate.

    SRod replaced JHay – is Moroff still on the team? How about bringing up Kevin Newman, and sending Moroff down to play 2B at AAA.

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