Baseball is best when things don’t happen the way they’re supposed to. The Pirates tonight were facing the first-place Chicago White Sox and starter Lucas Giolito, who no-hit them last year. But they got the bulk of their offense from the normally comatose bottom of their order and won, 6-3.
Tyler Anderson was great for six innings. He held a good lineup to two hits and no walks. That included retiring the first eight Sox hitters before Giolito singled.
Anderson even went into the seventh with a 2-0 lead. In the third, Adam Frazier belted his third home run of the year. In the sixth, Frazier walked, went to second on a grounder and scored on a single by Bryan Reynolds.
In the top of the seventh, Anderson gave up a couple of singles. With two out, Chicago sent up Yasmani Grandal to pinch hit. Grandal came in with one of the oddest sets of stats we’re likely to see: a .166 average, just 25 hits, but ten homers and 54 (!) walks. Grandal unfortunately messed up Anderson’s start with a three-run bomb. David Bednar eventually got the last out, but the Sox led, 3-2.
But the Pirates came right back, with some help. Gregory Polanco and Phillip Evans both singled, and Kevin Newman laid down an excellent bunt toward third. Yoan Moncada Pedro’d the throw to first and Polanco scored the tying run, with a single credited to Newman’s account. That left runners at second and third, and Erik Gonzalez, batting for Bednar, singled through the drawn-in infield to drive in two more and put the Pirates ahead. Later in the inning, Reynolds singled in Gonzalez, making it 6-3.
And that’s where it ended. Kyle Crick’s control in the eighth was wobbly, as usual, but he walked only one, didn’t hit anybody and struck out three. Rich Rodriguez needed nine pitches in the ninth for his ninth save.
And if the White Sox have any sense, they’ll try to trade for Frazier before tomorrow’s game.