Zach Thompson extends scoreless streak to 12 innings; Pirates snap skid

Zach Thompson regarded spent because the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-foot-7 right-hander stood on the mound, enduring a muggy, 78-degree day from the primary pitch and a scoreless streak that gained gravity with each inning.

Thompson confronted the primary 19 Cincinnati Reds batters Saturday evening with out permitting a success, till Brandon Drury belted a bloop single to shallow proper discipline to interrupt up the bid with two outs within the sixth.

Solely then did Thompson understand the magnitude of the second.

“I didn’t know till the ball was hit,” Thompson mentioned. “When it landed, everybody began cheering and I used to be like, ‘Why are we cheering for another person getting a success?’ After which I regarded out and noticed there was a one and was like, ‘Huh.’ ”

After throwing 75 pitches and receiving a mound go to from Pirates pitching coach Oscar Marin, Thompson stayed in to get the ultimate out. Tommy Pham had the 12,959 at PNC Park holding their breath by driving a deep fly to Ben Gamel on the warning observe in left discipline.

Thompson exited after tossing a one-hit shutout over six innings — the kind of pitching efficiency the Pirates have been desperately looking for from a starter — to snap a two-game shedding skid with a 3-1 win over the Reds.

Thompson stretched his scoreless streak to 12 consecutive innings over his previous three appearances. He didn’t enable a run throughout a five-inning begin at Cincinnati final Sunday — which required an IV beforehand to cope with dehydration — and one inning of reduction Might 4. Over that three-game stretch, he had 10 strikeouts whereas giving up 4 hits and 4 walks.

Pirates supervisor Derek Shelton credited Thompson’s command and effectivity, particularly in throwing solely 17 pitches (13 for strikes) by the primary two innings. Thompson, who retired the primary three batters on seven pitches, received seven groundouts and two flyouts.

“When our guys exit, we simply want them to be environment friendly and he was actually environment friendly,” Shelton mentioned. “With the place our bullpen was at, we have been in fairly good condition. However any time our guys are that environment friendly, particularly the primary few instances by the order, it’s vital.”

Three Pirates rookies mixed to present Thompson an early cushion by scoring two runs within the second inning. Jack Suwinski reached on a fielder’s alternative and superior to 3rd on Rodolfo Castro’s single to proper discipline. With runners on the corners, Reds starter Luis Castillo was referred to as for a balk. Suwinski scored for a 1-0 Pirates lead, and Diego Castillo adopted with a single to left that drove in Castro to make it 2-0.

“The balk does assist, however the balk doesn’t come into play until they know he’s a risk to maneuver,” Shelton mentioned. “They did a pleasant job getting on base, Jack getting down the road. … It’s cool to see the younger youngsters present run-scoring alternatives and runs.”

Within the backside of the fourth, Pirates designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach drove a 3-2 changeup 433 ft to the highest of the Pirates hedges in entrance of the batter’s eye in useless middle for his sixth dwelling run and a 3-0 lead.

“You don’t get many good ones to hit with him,” Vogelbach mentioned of his first profession hit towards Luis Castillo after going 0 for 8 with 4 walks. “He’s received actually great things. I used to be capable of put a very good swing on it.”

Wil Crowe changed Thompson within the seventh and instantly received into bother. He walked Mike Moustakas, who superior to 3rd on Colin Moran’s fielder’s alternative. With two outs, Albert Almora Jr. singled to proper to attain Moustakas and reduce it to 3-1. Castillo allowed Almora to achieve second by making an attempt to throw Moran out at third.

With runners on second and third, Crowe froze Matt Reynolds with a slider on the surface nook for a referred to as third strike to flee the jam.

Pham singled off Chris Stratton with two outs within the eighth, then stole second base on David Bednar, who received Moustakas to fly out to proper.

“Any time a starter provides you an opportunity and throws up zeroes the way in which he did towards a extremely good arm, it’s all you’ll be able to ask for,” Vogelbach mentioned. “Luis Castillo is absolutely, actually good. He’s been actually good for a very long time, and Zach Thompson went out and simply completely threw superior and gave us a chance to place some runs up. Any time you face an ace like Castillo, you realize runs are going to be powerful to return by. This sport is all about Zach and the way in which he threw the ball.”

Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Evaluation workers author. You’ll be able to contact Kevin by e mail at kgorman@triblive.com or by way of Twitter .

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