John Jaso led off the game with a first inning homerun that was just the beginning of a long night for the Philadephila Phillies defense. The Pirates looked like a complete team with strong offense backed by a solid six innings from starting pitcher Chad Kuhl in their 15-2 win on Thursday night. The win split the four-game series that wrapped Thursday.
Kuhl sat down the first 12 batters he faced. He earned the win while allowing just two runs on four hits. Kuhl struck out five in his sin innings pitched.
After Jaso’s first inning solo shot, Andrew McCutchen sent his 22nd homerun over centerfield in the fourth. Then Sean Rodriguez followed with his own in the fifth to give Pittsburgh a 3-0 lead.
The Phillies cut into the Pirates’ lead in the bottom of the fifth when Tommy Joseph scored on Freddy Galvis’ ground out to second. Odubel Herrera later scored on a double hit by Aaron Altherr, which put the Phillies within one run, 3-2.
But Jordy Mercer’s three run homerun in the seventh started a 12 run rally, that spread over the last three innings, to seal the win for Pittsburgh.
Former pitcher and Pirate All-Star A.J. Burnett stopped by the game at Citizens Bank Park, and Andrew McCutchen told former teammate Burnett that he was feeling a two-homerun game. And McCutchen did just that. In the top of the eighth, McCutchen drove his second homerun of the night out of the park to give the Pirates a 7-2 lead. However, the Pirates were far from finished.
An eight run rally on two outs in the top of the ninth showed just how dominating the Pirates’ offense could be. Jung ho Kang started the inning off with a walk and would later bat again in the inning to score McCutchen and Gregory Polanco. Tacking on seven hits, no man wanted to be the one to leave the first man stranded on base, but Francisco Cervelli struck out looking to end the top of the ninth leaving Rodriguez at first. Josh Bell, David Freese, Cervelli, McCutchen, Polanco, Kang, and Rodriguez all contributed hits in the ninth.
While scoring 15 runs—eight of which came in the ninth on two outs—the Bucs left just one man on base. Stranding runners has been an offensive issue for the Pirates throughout the season.
Pittsburgh travels to Cincinnati to start a four-game series with the Reds. Ryan Vogelsong will open the series on the mound for the Pirates with first pitch at 7:10 P.M. ET on Friday night.