Maybe the trade deadline was adding some pressure, but the Pirates again just looked like a better team than the contending Phillies in a 3-2 win. They pulled this one off with a walkoff fielder’s choice by, of course, Jacob Stallings.
J.T. Brubaker had an outstanding start, in large part because he kept the gopher in the cage. He retired the first 11 batters he faced before an error by Rodolfo Castro broke the string.
Brubaker finally ran into trouble in the fifth. Three singles loaded the bases with one out and Phillies’ starter Aaron Nola brought in a run with a sacrifice fly. Brubaker loaded the bases again with a walk to Jean Segura, but he got J.T. Realmuto to ground out to end the inning.
That made the score 2-1, Pirates. The Bucs couldn’t do much with Nola, getting just three hits in his six innings, but they strung the three together in the third. Castro led off with his first major league single and Kevin Newman drove one to the wall in right-center for a triple. Brubaker didn’t get Newman in, but Ben Gamel blooped a single to center to put the Pirates up, 2-0.
Brubaker had a quick sixth inning, with the help of a double play. Chasen Shreve came on for the seventh and walked two while getting two outs. Kyle Keller got the last out of the inning.
The Pirates weren’t doing anything with the Phillies’ bullpen. In the top of the eighth, Derek Shelton went with David Bednar, who quickly gave up the lead. Realmuto led off the inning with a double and Bryce Harper singled to drive him. Harper got caught stealing, which was a good thing because Bednar gave up another hit before getting out of the inning.
Chris Stratton escaped the top of the ninth despite a pair of two-out singles. Bryan Reynolds led off the bottom of the inning with a double and went to third on a ground out by Gregory Polanco. John Nogowski walked, to bring up Stallings. The Phillies should have known better, but they pitched to Stallings. With a 3-1 count, he chopped one to third and Alec Bohm went home with the throw. He threw a little wide and Reynolds slid in with the winning run.
Stratton got the win, but the Pirates’ defense played a big role. Reynolds had a web gem catch, diving to catch a liner in shallow center. Ke’Bryan Hayes had one of those long throws that he makes look routine. And Stallings made a perfect throw to catch Harper in the eighth.
Tomorrow, the Bucs go for . . . uh oh . . . .