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Pirates 13, White Sox 9: Pittsburgh runs wild

The South Siders’ run prevention was poor at best in the loss

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros
Going deep: Luis Robert Jr. launched two home runs in the loss.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The White Sox (3-5) jumped out to an early lead against the Pirates (5-2), but to put it mildly, the pitching staff did not have its best stuff. As a result, Pittsburgh came out on top in what turned out to be an embarrassing defensive performance for the South Siders.

Tim Anderson kick-started the offense with a double to lead off the game against Rich Hill. With one out, Anderson got an excellent jump to steal third to set Andrew Vaughn up with an opportunity to drive in a run. Vaughn’s ground out to shortstop got the job done, as Anderson raced home to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead.

Starter Lucas Giolito only needed six pitches to get through the first inning, and it appeared that the White Sox could take control early on. However, it did not quite play out that way. Carlos Santana led off the bottom of the second with a home run, and it was not the only sharp contact Giolito allowed that inning. With two outs, Connor Joe and Ji Hwan Bae crushed back-to-back doubles to give the Pirates their first lead of the game.

The situation improved in the third, when the top of the lineup provided a boost for the South Siders. With one out, Anderson collected his second hit of the day with a single, and Luis Robert Jr. followed with this moonshot:

That turned the game around and put the South Siders back up by one, and the White Sox were not done that inning. With two outs, Yoán Moncada singled, and Jake Burger continued the big inning with a two-run homer of his own.

The Pirates stopped the party in the bottom half, as they got back-to-back singles to open the inning against Giolito. Ke’Bryan Hayes came through with an RBI double to get one of those runs back for the Pirates.

The bottom of the fourth was a nightmare for Giolito, who could not catch a break. The Pirates got three consecutive one-out singles, two of which were hit quite softly. With the score now 5-4, the Pirates still had two on base with no outs. Up to the plate stepped Bryan Reynolds, and he did not miss out on a mistake by Giolito. While a couple of Pirates benefited from good fortune that inning, there was nothing lucky about Reynolds’ three-run homer. Giolito finished the inning without further damage, but the White Sox trailed by a score of 7-5 when he left.

Yet again, the top of the White Sox lineup did damage in the top of the fifth. Anderson singled again, and Robert Jr. did more of the same.

While the first four innings were sloppy, it was a whole new ballgame. Tie game, no outs in the top of the fifth. Might as well start from scratch. Unfortunately, the White Sox did not take advantage of their opportunity to put the ugly first four innings behind them.

In the bottom of the fifth, Jake Diekman took over on the mound for Giolito. Diekman faced five batters, and four of them reached base safely. When Jimmy Lambert replaced Diekman, the Pirates had an 8-7 lead, and the bases were loaded with one out. Up to the plate stepped Reynolds.

Yeah, I don’t know what to say, either. 12-7, Pittsburgh.

The score remained 12-7 for quite a bit. That was largely thanks to reliever Jesse Scholtens, who made a successful MLB debut. Scholtens pitched back-to-back scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh. Pittsburgh finally put one on the board against him in the eighth, when Joe hit an RBI double. Despite that, Scholtens had a great debut, only allowing one run in three innings in a game when the White Sox pitching staff as a whole struggled immensely. Congratulations to Scholtens on his accomplishment.

The White Sox showed a bit of life in the ninth, as Oscar Colás went deep for the first time in his MLB career.

That was something Colás has done a lot at the Minor League level, and it was refreshing to see him show off his power in the majors. Congratulations to Colás on his first MLB home run.

Anderson followed with a double for his fourth hit of the day, and Robert Jr. collected his third hit of the day with an RBI single. That was all she wrote, though, as the Pirates held on for a 13-9 win.

The White Sox are scheduled to be back in action on Saturday at 5:35 p.m. Central. They will have another chance get a victory in Pittsburgh. Let’s hope that game goes better than this one did.