Home Pittsburgh Sports College Football Pirates nine-game winning streak snapped by Phillies

Pirates nine-game winning streak snapped by Phillies

Garrett Jones hit his eighth home run of the season and Brandon Cumpton held the Phillies scoreless into the sixth, but the Pirates couldn’t muster enough offense in a 3-1 loss against the Phillies on Tuesday night at PNC Park.

The Pirates’ nine-game winning streak was highlighted by timely hitting and shut down work on the mound.

They got neither Tuesday night as their run ended with a 3-1 loss to the Phillies before 30,0301 at PNC Park. 

Bucs starter Brandon Cumpton — recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis just hours before the game — held Philadelphia scoreless through five, but conceded three runs in the sixth inning before giving way to the bullpen. The effort was good enough to keep his team in the game, but not good enough for victory. And though Cumpton was pleased with how he threw in the early going, he wished he’d gotten better results later in the game.

“[The] third time through the lineup was definitely a lot tougher,” Cumpton said. “I fell behind a little bit, left some pitches up, didn’t make my pitches and they put them in play and made me pay.”

Cumpton’s final line of three runs on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings was far from crippling, but it proved too big of a hole for the Pittsburgh offense to emerge from. 

Beyond a home run from Garrett Jones in the sixth, the Bucs managed little off Phillies starter Jonathan Pettibone, who earned the victory while giving up three hits and an earned run with six strikeouts and three walks in 5 2/3 innings. They certainly had its chances, too.

Pittsburgh loaded the bases in the third but was held off the scoreboard when Pettibone struck out Jones swinging. In the seventh, Jordy Mercer led off the inning with a single but was thrown out trying to stretch the single into a double. That proved costly when Travis Snider followed with a single that would have advanced Mercer into scoring position with no outs. Instead, Gaby Sanchez flew out and Starling Marte lined out of Phillies reliever Phillippe Aumont to end the inning. And the Pirates loaded the bases again in the eighth, but this time, Mercer struck out before Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon came on the finish off the Bucs in the ninth for his 16th save.

The result was a loss in Cumpton’s first big league decision, though he did manage to extend Pirates starters’ streak of allowing three runs or fewer per game to 16 contests. It was also the Pirates’ first defeat in 13 calander days. 

Jones, though, remained hopeful that the bats can get back on track soon. 

“We had some opportunities but just couldn’t come through with the big hit,” Jones said. “But we’re confident in what our offense can do. 

Jones thought the Phillies’ Pettibone mixed his four-seam and two-seam fastballs well and hit his spots better than he did in getting a no-decision against Pittsburgh back in April. 

The bullpen was a bright spot, however, keeping the Phillies off the scoreboard after Cumpton left in the sixth inning. Justin Wilson and Bryan Morris combined to allow just three base runners over the final 3 1/3 frames, something that manager Clint Hurdle appreciated. 

“We have been as good as you could ever want people to be coming in following the starer,” Hurdle said. 

Jeff Locke was scheduled to start for the Pirates on Tuesday, but his turn was pushed back to Wednesday after preparing to pitch in relief during the Bucs’ extra-inning win against the Brewers on Sunday. He’ll oppose Philadelphia’s John Lannan at 7:05 p.m. in game two of the series. 

And even though the Bucs saw one streak end in the loss, Hurdle believes

“We’ve been able to compete a little bit better out of the batter’s box from the offensive side,” Hurdle said. “We are continuing to compete and play.”

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