July 21, 2024

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Rich Hill provides the deepest start for the Pirates, who swept the Cardinals for their fifth straight win

Rich Hill provides the deepest start for the Pirates, who swept the Cardinals for their fifth straight win

The 11:35 a.m. hour of a game broadcast live on Peacock didn’t seem to bother Rich Hill, as the 43-year-old left fielder made the deepest start of the season for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Hill received a standing ovation on Sunday afternoon from 22,947 at PNC Park when he was pulled with a two lead in the seventh inning.

Behind singles by Ji Hwan-bae and Hilton in the first inning, the Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-1, to clinch the three-game series.

It was the fifth straight win for the Pirates (31-27), who moved into a provisional first place game in the NL Central with the Milwaukee Brewers (31-27), who play Sunday at the Cincinnati Reds.

It was the first time the Pirates had swept the Cardinals at home since April 27-29, 2018, when Nick Kingham pitched a perfect game in the seventh inning of a 5-0 victory in his major league debut.

The Pirates loaded the bases in the first inning against Miles Mikulas (4-2) on singles by Brian Reynolds, Jack Swinski and Cibrian Hayes, and Bay hit a leadoff single to shallow center to lead off Reynolds and Swinski for a 2-0 lead.

Hayes (3 for 4) and Bay (2 for 4) were stranded when Rodolfo Castro stood his ground. The Pirates left nine runners on base, including runners on second and third on the fifth inning on another Castro home run to first.

However, the Cardinals (25-35) were unable to score against Hill (5-5) because he only allowed two hits over the first six innings. Hill retired 11 straight batters before giving up his one-run home run to Andrew Kneisner, who drove the cutter 1-0 419-foot right to cut it to 2-1.

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After Tommy Edman followed with a single to left, Pirates manager Derek Shelton replaced Hill with Dauri Moreta, who struck out Paul Goldschmidt to leave Edman stuck.

Hill struck out six times while allowing four hits and three walks on one batter while throwing 62 of his 96 pitches in 6 2/3 innings, his longest outing since hitting 11-of-7 scoreless for Boston in a 5-1 win over Tampa Bay Last August 27th.

The Pirates got a scoreless eighth off of Johan Ramirez and closer David Bednar turned in the ninth. Bednar gave up a leadoff single to Luken Baker, who hit his first career home run in the second inning, but made Jordan Walker fly to right and hit Knizner on his 13th save of the season.

Kevin Gorman is a writer for the Tribune-Review. You can contact Kevin via email at [email protected] or via Twitter .