The Pittsburgh Pirates couldn’t carry Saturday’s victory into Sunday and found themselves on the wrong end of the scoreboard again.
It wasn’t all for naught, as unexpected rookie sensation Luis Ortiz continued to shine. Sunday afternoon he was only able to crack 100 MPH once, and only had the top 33 hardest pitches in the game. It appeared he was on a hard pitch count as Derek Shelton pulled him in the fifth inning with two outs and having only thrown 80 pitches. Ortiz would throw 4.2 IP in total, allowing only a single to first batter of the game to go along with an earned run, two walks and seven strike outs. That gives him seventeen strike outs to seven walks in his three starts covering 15.1 IP.
Unfortunately for Ortiz (and the Pirates in general), the bullpen has been cratering at season’s end. The lone earned run against Ortiz came when he was pulled in fifth with a runner on and two outs. Manny Banuelos walked the first batter he faced, and then gave up a first pitch three-run bomb to Patrick Wisdom.
David Bednar made an appearance in the sixth and it took 23 pitches, while allowing two singles and striking out two batters.
Bryan Reynolds tried to get things going with his 26th HR of the season in the bottom of the sixth to make it 3-1.
Duane Underwood Jr. came in for the seventh inning and had other plans — along with the defense — than staging a comeback. The first three batters reached base safely which included a RBI single. Then with runners on second and third and one out, Nelson Velazquez hit a grounder to a drawn in Oneil Cruz, who whiffed on the ball to let two more runs score for a 6-1 deficit. It was Cruz’s second error of the game and his 15th of the season. Underwood left after 15 pitches and one out after having allowed three runs, two earned.
Miguel Yajure replaced Underwood with one out in the seventh and finished off the game. Yajure threw 55 pitches across 2.2 innings with three hits, two runs (one earned), a walk and five strike outs. The second run came after a wild pitch was followed by Jason Delay’s second error of the game, and his 9th of the season.
With the game out of hand at 8-1 the Pirates offense pushed two more across the plate in the bottom of the ninth on sacrifice fly’s by Rodolfo Castro and Jack Suwinski for an 8-3 loss. The Pirates 97th of the season.
Reds @ Pirates
Time: 6:35 PM EST
Pirates Starter: Roansy Contreras (5-5, 3.68)
Reds Starter: Chase Anderson (2-3, 5.21)
Contreras Notes: Roansy Contreras will be making his 17th start of the season and looking to rebound after a rough outing against the New York Yankees. Contreras managed to strike out ten Yankees, but it also came with six earned runs through 4.2 IP.
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) September 26, 2022
1. TJ Friedl (L) LF
2. Jonathan India (R) 2B
3. Kyle Farmer (R) DH
4. Spencer Steer (R) 3B
5. Stuart Fairchild (R) CF
6. Aristides Aquino (R) RF
7. Matt Reynolds (R) 1B
8. Jose Barrero (R) SS
9. Chuckie Robinson (R) C
Raised in Cranberry Twp, PA, Jeff attended Kent State University and worked in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, before moving to New Orleans in September of 2012. His background is as an Engineering Designer, but he has always had a near unhealthy passion for Pittsburgh sports. Hockey and Baseball are his 1A and 1B, combined with his mathematical background, it's led to Jeff's desire in diving into analytics. Jeff is known as Bucs'N'Pucks in the comments, and began writing for Pirates Prospects in 2022 after contributing so many useful bits of information in the comment section.