The Pirates put together one of their better games of the year and beat a good White Sox team, 5-4, on a walkoff error. They got a strong, if brief, start; some nice defensive plays from Erik Gonzalez, Adam Frazier and Jacob Stallings; continued solid relief pitching, apart from one silly move; and some decent hitting after a bad start.
Joe Musgrove had the good start, throwing four shutout innings and exiting after 64 pitches. He gave up three hits and two walks, and fanned five. The only runner to get past first against him was Tim Anderson, who started the game with a double. Musgrove followed that by getting two strikeouts and a ground out. He also helped himself by picking Anderson off first in the third inning.
The Pirates’ hitters for a while looked like they were headed for another futile game against a White Sox starter. They had only one baserunner in the first four innings, and that one was wiped out when Josh Bell hit into a double play.
In the fifth, in a scoreless game, Derek Shelton decided to evaluate Dovydas Del Neverauskas. That went about like you’d think. It could have been worse, but Bryan Reynolds threw a runner out at the plate for his fifth assist of the year. The throw was actually off-line, but Stallings made a nice grab and lunging tag. An RBI single and a home run by Yasmani Grandal followed, and the Sox were up, 3-0.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Pirates finally showed some life. With two out, Bell doubled, Ke’Bryan Hayes lined a triple off the wall in right, and Kevin Newman singled. That made it 3-2.
After the fifth, Shelton took the game more seriously. Kyle Crick had a quick sixth inning. Chris Stratton threw a scoreless seventh, but gave up a run in the eighth on a two-out double by Eloy Jimenez.
The Pirates tied the game 4-4 in the bottom half, thanks to their two most surprising players. Kevin Newman led off with a double and scored when Jacob Stallings doubled down the right field line. Stallings went to third on a ground out and his pinch runner, Cole Tucker, scored when Gonzalez bounced a single over a drawn-in shortstop. Gonzalez took third on a pair of wild pitches, but Reynolds chased a string of pitches out of the strike zone and whiffed. Colin Moran grounded out to end the inning.
After Richard Rodriguez threw a scoreless top of the ninth, Gregory Polanco and Bell started the bottom half with singles. After they moved up on a wild pitch, Chicago chose to walk Hayes to load the bases. Newman then hit a slow bouncer back to the pitcher, who shoveled it to Grandal at the plate, trying for a force play. Grandal dropped it just as Jason Martin, running for Polanco, arrived. The play was ruled an error on Grandal and the Pirates had a 5-4 walkoff win.