The Pirates dropped the second game of their series in Kansas City, 7-4. The most interesting aspect of the game was a half hour delay at the start due to a nearby gunman.
The Bucs at least got some early dingerz. In fact, through the fifth inning, their only hits were longballs, all of them coming off Carlos Hernandez, who was making his first career start. In the second, Josh Bell, batting lefty, sliced his sixth home run of the year into the corner in left. Two batters later, Bryan Reynolds hit his fourth of the year to straightaway center. Two innings later, Adam Frazier lined a low fastball over the fence in right for his fifth home run.
Trevor Williams continued to pitch more like a AAA depth guy than a major league starter. Including this game, since June 19 of last year he has a 6.50 ERA and 1.60 WHIP. He gave up two early home runs, a solo shot to Whit Merrifield to open the bottom of the first and a two-run homer to Adalberto Mondesi that tied the game, 3-3, in the third.
The Royals took a 6-3 lead in the fifth. The inning included three singles, two walks, an error by Williams and a sacrifice fly. It would have been worse if the Pirates hadn’t caught Maikel Franco trying to take second after a single. Derek Shelton left Williams in through the entire inning, as he seems determined to keep giving him chances to pitch through whatever the problem is. Williams gave up ten hits and three walks over five innings and 101 pitches, and all six runs were earned. His record is 1-7, making him the MLB leader in losses.
Following Williams, Austin Davis made his Pirate debut. Davis defied the lingering spectre of Miguel Del Pozo and had a 1-2-3 sixth inning.
Kyle Crick, still with low velocity, couldn’t get through the seventh. He threw only 13 of 30 pitches for strikes and walked in a run before Sam Howard got the last out with the bases loaded. That made it 7-3 Royals.
Derek Holland finished up with a scoreless eighth. Why exactly a team needs a veteran-presence-guy to pitch in white flag roles will probably remain a mystery.
The Pirates’ offense did little once Hernandez left after three. They almost had a rally in the seventh. Bell and Gregory Polanco led off with singles, but Reynolds hit into a double play and Kevin Newman, who’s mired in a 9-for-56 skid, grounded out. In the eighth, Erik Gonzalez doubled, stole third, and scored on a ground out, for the eventual 7-4 final.
The Pirates are now 14-29. They’re 2-14 against AL teams. Kyle Zimmer got the win for the Royals, making it the second straight day a Royals pitcher got his first career win against the Pirates.