PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Starting pitcher Johan Oviedo gave up runs early and the Bucs once again with little offensive answer, Texas wins 3-2 on Wednesday afternoon to take two of three in the series.
Overall Oviedo’s numbers, for a young pitcher, aren’t horrible 3-4, 4.70 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 48 strikeouts in 53.2 innings. They would be so much better if it weren’t for the first inning. The right-hander has an ERA of 12.60 in the first, giving up 16 runs (14 earned) in 10 innings with 16 hits allowed and six walks.
“I feel like every team’s been watching that I’m throwing more heaters in the first inning,” Oviedo said. “So they’ve been aggressive against me in the first inning. I feel like that’s where they all have been scoring, the first inning. So, they were swinging earlier in the count so I started pitching backwards more spin first and then fastballs... I definitely gotta make an adjustment in the first inning.”
“I think it's just execution of pitches,” said Pirates Manager Derek Shelton. “We just have to be a little more fine with our pitch selection and kind of go from there. It's hard to pitch with your back against the wall.
We just need to look at what the execution is early.”
He would settle down so well that he threw an immaculate inning in the fourth, three strikeouts on nine pitches.
Oviedo whiffed Jonah Heim and Robbie Grossman swinging and Josh Smith looking.
“It definitely is amazing,” Oviedo said. “I’ve been close like twice in my career. Thankfully it happened today.
You kinda know but like last time, I tried not to think about it and this time it just happened.”
“It’s also great that one of my teammates did it first. Now I did it. It’s exciting. It’s really hard to do that in baseball, so I’m excited about that.”
Colin Holderman did it earlier this month. The fourth ever by a Pirates pitcher.
“It’s crazy,” Shelton said. “Until this year, I think I only saw two of them ever. I think it just shows the quality of the stuff our guys have.”
It seemed like he found it late in April, but outfielder Jack Suwinski is struggling. Only one hit in his last 14 at bats, Suwinski is hitting .150 in May with two doubles and one home run. The lefty has also struck out 24 times this month.
Davis 4 RBI
Henry Davis had only one hit on Wednesday afternoon, but the 2021 first overall pick drove in four runs as Altoona beat Hartford 13-9. Playing in right field, Davis is hitting .317 for the month (.438 on-base percentage) with four doubles and four home runs. For the season, the right-handed hitter is at .299/.457 (OBP) with 10 home runs and 26 RBI in 33 games.
Former Pirates minor-league player of the year Mason Martin also drove in four runs. Shortstop prospect Liover Peguero went 2 for 5 with a pair of runs and RBI. Peguero has hits in 10 of his last 12 games raising his average from .221 to .270 over that span.
A pitching hopeful
High A starter Anthony Solometo threw six scoreless innings Wednesday allowing only three hits, a walk and struck out six. It was only the first win for the Bucs 2021 second-round pick, now 1-3 with a 3.16 ERA striking out 52 in 42.2 innings with a 1.20 WHIP and opponents hitting just .196 against him. In only one of his nine starts this year has the 20-year-old lefty allowed more than two earned runs.
Solometo got some help on Wednesday in a 15-1 win. 3B Mike Jarvis, 2021 sixth round, hit his eighth home run, three RBI (28 for season) and four runs scored.
Catcher Eli Wilson, 2019 16th round, hit a grand slam and drove in five runs.
A Thursday off day. RHP Mitch Keller (5-1, 2.44 ERA) starts off the series in Seattle against RHP George Kirby (5-3, 2.62 ERA) at 10:10p. North Shore Tavern Leadoff Show at 9:10p on Friday on 93.7 The Fan.