PITTSBURGH (AP) — A crowded stadium. A playoff vibe. A tight game. They’re the hallmarks of meaningful September baseball, a rite of fall that’s been missing from PNC Park for nearly a decade.
This weekend offered what the Pittsburgh Pirates hope is a preview of things to come.
Jason Delay hit a tiebreaking double in the seventh inning that benefited from a fortunate bounce off third base, and the Pirates edged the New York Yankees 3-2 on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.
Delay turned on a curveball from Carlos Rodón (3-6) and hit a bouncer that nicked the outside of the bag and rolled away from New York third baseman Oswald Peraza and into foul territory in left field, allowing Jared Triolo to score from second.
“Shout out to the bigger bases,” Delay said with a laugh.
Pittsburgh’s bullpen, which let a late lead Friday night slip away in a 7-5 loss, managed to hold on this time. David Bednar, unavailable on Friday, worked around a one-out double by Austin Wells for his 36th save.
Triolo doubled twice for Pittsburgh. Miguel Andujar hit a solo home run against his former team as the Pirates (70-80) reached the 70-win plateau for the first time since 2018.
Pittsburgh is a respectable 29-26 over its last 55 games after making a strong shift toward playing members of a young core it believes can return the team to contention in the NL Central. The Pirates spent the weekend playing competitive games against a marquee team in front of a nearly packed house.
“I think we’re seeing the really good guts of a good core that’s going to be able to compete,” manager Derek Shelton said.
Rodón pitched relatively well across 6 2/3 innings in his longest start with the Yankees. The left-hander, who missed the first three months of the season due to forearm and back injuries, allowed three runs on six hits. Rodon struck out a season-high 10, reaching the 1,000-strikeout mark for his career when he fanned Ke’Bryan Hayes leading off the fourth.
Rookie shortstop Anthony Volpe hit his 21st home run for the Yankees, a solo shot in the seventh that briefly tied the game.
Still, the sputtering offense that has New York well off the pace in the AL East returned. The Yankees didn’t get a hit until Estevan Florial led off the sixth with a single. New York managed just four hits against five pitchers, the 27th time this season the team has been held to four or fewer.
Pittsburgh reliever Ryan Borucki (3-0) got two outs in the seventh to earn the win.
Rodón cruised early. He retired the first six batters he faced before Triolo led off the third with a double, ending a stretch of nine perfect innings by New York pitchers that began in the third inning of Saturday night’s 6-3 victory.
Liover Peguero singled home Triolo to give the Pirates the lead. Andujar, who spent parts of six seasons with the Yankees before being claimed off waivers by the Pirates last September, made it 2-0 by hitting a towering fly ball that clanged off the right-field foul pole.
New York scraped across a run in the sixth when DJ LeMahieu doubled home Florial. Volpe knotted it in the seventh before Triolo started Pittsburgh’s decisive rally with his fourth double of the season.