Pirates look to complete mini-sweep in Texas
According to STATSAccording to STATS
Pittsburgh Pirates at Texas Rangers
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/30/2019 thru 5/1/2019
The Pittsburgh Pirates will look to put an eight-game losing streak further in the rearview mirror Wednesday and sweep a two-game series against the host Texas Rangers.
After collecting just 18 runs during the losing streak, Pittsburgh came from behind Tuesday in the series opener for a 6-4, 11-inning win behind 14 hits, including two homers.
Manager Clint Hurdle, though, told reporters that didn't see a massive change in the way his club played during the losing skid.
"We got the result you're looking for, but (the players) showed the same thing you had when you were on the other side," he said. "They keep playing. It just looks better when you finish like (Tuesday) than when you lose."
The Pirates also cooled the Rangers' bats some Monday. The four runs and seven hits Pittsburgh pitchers surrendered -- including two runs and four hits in seven bullpen innings -- seemed tame on the heels of Texas racking up a combined 29 runs and 37 hits in back-to-back wins over the weekend.
Texas entered Tuesday's game leading the major leagues with an average of six runs a game.
Rangers rookie manager Chris Woodward has found handling the team's pitching more challenging than overseeing the offense.
"Just the amount of decisions you have to make on a daily basis, from the pitching standpoint," Woodward told MLB Network. "Just constructing the pitching and how we're going to go about that."
The offense might seem to be taking care of itself, but Woodward said it's also an orchestrated approach in what was supposed to be more of a rebuilding year but is thus far a .500 season.
"We have a ton of talent in our lineup," he said. "I think we all knew that. But I think the biggest thing that I've been impressed with is just their commitment to our process.
"We talked about it from Day 1 -- in the offseason, honestly. We had meetings and presentations to show them, to say if we can just be predictable and understand every count, every pitch is important and just not take a pitch off. And our offense has done that. We have a pass-the-baton mentality, that every guy in our lineup is going to contribute, and it's showed."
In the second and final game of the series, Texas right-hander Shelby Miller (1-1, 7.52 ERA) is scheduled to face Pittsburgh righty Jameson Taillon (1-3, 4.06 ERA).
Miller is looking at a whole lot of fours -- he has given up four runs in each of his past four starts and will be working on four days' rest even though the Rangers were off Monday.
On Friday, he gave up the four runs and three hits in five innings, with five walks and four strikeouts. He finished with a no-decision in a 5-4, 11-inning loss at Seattle.
It was the second time this season Miller has walked five batters.
Miller is 2-7 with a 4.88 ERA 10 career starts against the Pirates. He has not faced them since May 24, 2016.
Taillon has never faced Texas.
His record has been muted by of a lack of run support and some shaky defense at times, but Taillon doesn't have to look past his last outing, when he gave up five runs in five innings Thursday in a 5-0 loss to Arizona, to know what he needs to address.
"I thought I made a lot of really good pitches, and the ones I didn't, they let me know they weren't good pitches," he said.
Taillon is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in three road starts.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 1, 2019