The Pittsburgh Pirates have never swept the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-game series on the road and thanks to a rocky performance from Jonathan Sanchez, the Bucs will have to wait until next year to try and accomplish that feat.
After a decent outing his first time out, Sanchez looked more like the pitcher that many expected he would be as he struggled with command and control, allowing nine earned runs in 3.1 innings of work. Sanchez allowed eight hits and walked four while getting the quick hook as the Bucs were on the wrong end of a 10-2 defeat.
All eight Diamondbacks starters reached base, but it was rookie A.J. Pollock who delivered the biggest blows. Pollock went 3-for-5 with a pair of homers and 4 RBI as that was more than enough offense for Arizona starter Wade Miley, who limited the Bucs to only two runs on five hits while striking out five on the afternoon.
Things looked good for the Pirates right away when Starling Marte led off the game with a double, but he was stranded there and that turned out to be a big play right away.
In the bottom of the first, Sanchez has Pollock picked off, but his throw to third base was horribly off line and Pollock trotted home to give the D’Backs a 1-0 lead. After a Miguel Montero RBI ground out, Alfredo Marte made it 3-0 with an RBI single.
They doubled that number in the second when Pollock crushed a three-run bomb to left, his first homer of the season.
Josh Harrison got the Pirates on the board in the fourth when his RBI single scored Andrew McCutchen to make it a 6-1 game.
But the Diamondbacks got that run back quickly in the fourth when Sanchez left a breaking ball up to Pollock, who hit a solo shot to extend the Arizona lead to 7-1.
Sanchez was yanked for Chris Leroux, who came in and couldn’t find the strike zone.
Leroux walked both Cliff Pennington and Josh Wilson to force in runs and then Miley made it 10-1 with an RBI ground out.
The Bucs got one back in the seventh on an RBI single by Marte, who collected two of the Pirates five hits. They did load the bases but pinch hitter Garret Jones struck out to end the rally.
A day after having their best offensive game of the season, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle gave some of his regulars the day off as Jones, Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez all had the afternoon off against the southpaw Miley.
The Pirates have the day off on Thursday before returning home to face the Cincinnati Reds in a three-game set, beginning a stretch where they play 20 games in 20 days.
Winning Pitcher: Wade Miley (2-0)
Losing Pitcher: Jonathan Sanchez (0-2)
Home Runs: A.J. Pollock 2 (2)