The Pittsburgh Pirates avoided a series sweep by the Philadelphia Phillies following a 4-1 victory Sunday at PNC Park. The win snapped a five-game losing streak. Rookie Nick Kingham earned his third victory of the season, allowing one run on four hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out five. Kingham also had his first major league hit, a two-run double in the fourth inning. Felipe Vazquez struck out the side in the ninth inning to earn his 18th save of the season.
The Pirates open a three-game series with the Washington Nationals tonight at PNC Park. First pitch is 7:05pm. Pre-game on WISR 680am will be 6:40pm. Ivan Nova will start for the Bucs. (4-6, 4.48 ERA). The Bucs will host Milwaukee for four games prior to the All-Star break.
The Pirates are seven games under .500 at 41-48. They are 12-1/2 games out of first place. Nine games out of a National League Wild Card spot.
Prior to Sunday’s game, the Pirates activated catcher Francisco Cervelli from the seven-day concussion disabled list.
Closer Felipe Vazquez was the only Pirates player to be named to the National League All-Star team this season. Despite blowing four saves, Vazquez but has struck out 48 batters in 36-1/3rd innings. The All-Star game will be played a week from Tuesday in Washington.