05/04/2023 – By Ethan Smith – @mvp_Ethan on Twitter
May the Fourth Be With You All.
Despite a valiant effort in the top of the ninth to bring the game within one run, the Pittsburgh Pirates were swept in their first series this season at the hands of the MLB best Tampa Bay Rays.
The big story from this game came early on as Vince Velasquez removed himself from the contest after the third inning in what appeared to be another strong outing for him, but right elbow discomfort would sideline him for the remainder of the game and the Pirates had to turn to the bullpen.
Tampa Bay opened the scoring in the bottom of the second with a solo shot from Taylor Walls. They would add another homer in the bottom of the fourth off of Jose Hernandez courtesy of Randy Arozarena, making it 2-0 through four.
Yandy Diaz would add another solo shot to the Thursday count for Tampa Bay in the bottom of the eighth, making it 3-0 and would become a much bigger deal than we anticipated.
Carlos Santana would pick up an RBI double to score Tucupita Marcano and Bryan Reynolds, making the game 3-2. Both Andrew McCutchen and Connor Joe had chances to tie or give the Pirates the lead, but Jason Adam would strikeout both McCutchen and Joe to secure the series sweep for the Rays and extend the Pirates losing streak to four games, their longest losing streak of the season thus far.
Pittsburgh heads home to PNC Park tomorrow to start a three game set with the Toronto Blue Jays as Chris Bassitt will face off with Rich Hill.
News & Notes
- Vince Velasquez leaves game in third inning with right elbow discomfort
- Pirates losing streak extended to four games
- Pirates still remain in lead in NL Central despite series sweep