MIAMI (SportsDirect Inc.) — The Pittsburgh Pirates are last in the National League and 29th in the majors with 71 runs scored but are hoping a 6-5 win over the defending World Series champs on Wednesday was what the team needed to get the bats going consistently.
The Pirates will try to post back-to-back wins when they visit the Miami Marlins on Friday for the opener of a three-game series.
Pittsburgh (9-12) scored two or fewer runs in five of eight games and was shut out 1-0 on Tuesday before Josh Harrison led off the bottom of the first with a home run on Wednesday and Josh Bell added a key solo blast in the sixth inning in the win.
Harrison is batting .400 with one home run in 15 at-bats out of the leadoff position and .280 with one blast anywhere else in the lineup.
The Marlins (10-10) were swept in a rain-shortened two-game series at Philadelphia to finish out a 3-5 road trip and are being overwhelmed by rumors that a group fronted by future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush are in line to buy the franchise.
The Marlins will try to get back into the win column behind left-hander Adam Conley while the Pirates counter with righty Jameson Taillon on Friday.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, ROOT (Pittsburgh), FSN Florida (Miami)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Pirates RH Jameson Taillon (1-0, 2.13 ERA) vs. Marlins LH Adam Conley (1-1, 3.00)
Taillon surrendered a total of two earned runs in 20 innings over his first three starts but was reached for four runs in 5 1/3 frames against the New York Yankees on Saturday. The former No. 2 overall draft pick issued three walks and yielded five hits to the Yankees but did not factor in the decision. Taillon is making his first career appearance against Miami.
Conley has yet to allow more than three runs in an appearance this season and is coming off a strong start at San Diego last Friday in which he allowed one run in a season high-matching six innings but did not earn a decision. Conley made his first three appearances of the season – two starts – against the New York Mets and yielded a total of five runs in 12 innings. Conley struck out nine and scattered two hits over six scoreless innings in his lone previous start against the Pirates.
1. Marlins OF Christian Yelich drove in a run in each of the last three games and has 15 RBIs in 20 contests.
2. Miami LHP and former Pirate Jeff Locke (shoulder) is throwing simulated games and could make his team debut next month.
3. Pittsburgh 2B Gift Ngoepe became the majors’ first African-born player when he made his debut on Wednesday.