The Pirates (38-41) bounced back last night with an 8-1 win against the Mariners at Safeco Field to split the two-game series. It was a night where suddenly everything was working for the Buccos.
Jameson Taillon was sharp from the get go as he scattered six hits over 6.0 innings of work with six strikeouts and no walks. Seven of his eight outs in play were on ground balls. The only run he allowed was on a double play. He found himself in somewhat of a jam in the 6th inning when Seth Smith and Robinson Cano hit back-to-back singles with one out. Taillon battled back though and got Nelson Cruz on strikes and Kyle Seager grounded out to end the threat. The rookie lowered his ERA to 3.86 through five starts of his career and picked up his second win.
As for the offense, the Pirates blew up for eight runs thanks to four RBIs on two doubles by Sean Rodriguez, who broke the game open with bases-clearing double in the 5th inning to make it 8.0. David Freese hit the only home run of the game with his 7th blast of the season to open the scoring in the top of the 2nd inning. Marte recorded a three-hit night, all singles and scored three times. He also stole his 21st base of the season, which has to be the quietest 21 steals in Pirates history.
Despite finishing June on a winning note, the Pirates were just 9-19 in the horrid month while hitting .230/.302/.369 with an ERA of 5.31. Things almost certainly have to improve in July and they’ll begin July tomorrow (off day today) with three games in Oakland and then four games with the Cardinals before returning home to finish out the first half against the Cubs. The Athletics are the first under .500 team the Bucs have faced since the beginning of June when they played the Angels.