Ryan Lavarnway was an unlikely candidate to get a big hit in a pressure situation
Ryan Lavarnway was an unlikely candidate to get a big hit in a pressure situationin Gran Canaria 08.03.2019 08:10
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The 30-year-old fourth-string catcher was playing his 142nd career game Logan Morrison Jersey , spread out over seven seasons with five teams, and spent most of 2018 with Triple-A Indianapolis.In his second major league at-bat of the season, Lavarnway drove in the winning run with a pinch-hit single in the 11th inning, giving Pittsburgh a 2-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals.Jameson Taillon had a career-high 11 strikeouts and Colin Moran homered for Pittsburgh.It was the second straight night a backup catcher came through for the Pirates. Jacob Stallings had a game-ending single on Monday night.Stallings and Lavarnway split catching duties all season in Indianapolis before being called up for depth in September. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said at the time he wanted to honor the work Lavarnway had done this season.“This organization has been so great to me,” Lavarnway said. “I’m just so grateful for everything about them, really. I really feel like myself as a person and as a player here.”Starling Marte led off the 11th with an infield single off Burch Smith (1-6). Josh Bell walked and Burch struck out Francisco Cervelli before Adam Frazier was intentionally walked to load the bases, setting up Lavarnway’s walk-off hit to shallow center.“I was just trying to not to do much,” Lavarnway said. “I think it would be human nature to try to go up there and hit it into the river.”Taillon pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits and a walk. His previous career high in strikeouts was 10 Tim Tebow Jersey , set on July 12.“I worked the top of the strike zone a little bit more than usual, I would say, and then my curveball was the best it’s been the second half,” Taillon said.It looked like the Royals might get to Taillon in the top of the seventh. With runners on second and third, Brian Goodwin hit a flyball to right fielder Pablo Reyes, who threw out Ryan O’Hearn at the plate.It was the first outfield assist for Reyes, a rookie playing his second game in right field.“A great way to end the outing,” Taillon said. “It’s a good feeling.”Pinch-hitter Hunter Dozier tied the game in the ninth with a double off Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez that scored Jorge Bonifacio. Left fielder Corey Dickerson threw to shortstop Jordy Mercer, who relayed home to throw out Salvador Perez and preserve the tie.Vazquez had not blown a save since May 31 Jay Bruce Jersey , a string of 24 consecutive opportunities converted.Kyle Crick (3-2) retired the side on 10 pitches in the 11th to earn the win.Moran had a pinch-hit home run with two outs in the seventh, his 10th homer this season.Eric Skoglund allowed three hits and struck out two in six innings, his first start this season in which he did not allow a run. It was his second start since returning from an ankle injury Sept. 7“He threw the ball great,” manager Ned Yost said. “Six strong innings. Did a really nice job. Got to 67 (pitches) last time out and was starting to get a little tired. Was in the mid-80s this time and felt great. So he’s getting back on track.”The Pirates improved to 14-5 in interleague play, the second-best record in the majors behind the Boston Red Sox.TRAINER’S ROOMPirates: Frazier did not start but said he was “fine” after fouling a ball off his right knee and leaving Monday’s game with discomfort. He grounded into a fielder’s choice in the ninth and remained in the game in left field. … C Elias Diaz (hamstring) made his first appearance since Aug. 31. He walked as a pinch-hitter in the ninth.Royals: Perez was a late scratch with a recurrence of a nagging left thumb injury. He singled in the ninth. … RHP Jorge Lopez (bruised rib) has still not thrown a between-starts bullpen session. His next turn in the rotation is Thursday against Detroit. The team has not announced a probable pitcher.UP NEXTRoyals: Heath Fillmyer (3-1, 4.76 ERA) is scheduled to start the series finale Wednesday. The rookie allowed 10 runs over his previous two starts.Pirates: Chris Archer (4-8, 4.66 ERA) has lost three straight decisions and is 1-4 with a 5.19 ERA since returning from an abdominal injury in early July. The Chicago Cubs (61-45) hope to rebound and stay atop the National League Central on Wednesday when they visit the Pittsburgh Pirates (56-52) as small road favorites. The Cubs dropped the series opener to the Pirates 5-4 on Tuesday while the Milwaukee Brewers won their second straight over the Los Angeles Dodgers on the road to pull into a first-place tie in the standings. MLB betting line: The Cubs opened as -117 favorites (wager $117 to win $100); the total is at eight runs, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)MLB betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 4.4-2.6 http://www.diamondbacksfanproshop.com/authentic-fernando-rodney-jersey , Cubs (MLB picks on every game)Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week's top sports betting news.Why the Cubs can pay on the MLB linesIt isn't time to panic just yet in the Windy City, as Chicago is still in prime position to win the division title despite the team's recent slide. The Cubs have lost three of their last four games but will start new addition Cole Hamels (5-9, 4.72 ERA with the Texas Rangers), as he returns to the National League where he enjoyed a lot of success in Philadelphia.The numbers the 34-year-old posted with the Rangers this year before the trade may not seem impressive, but a closer look shows he was 4-2 in 10 road starts with a 2.93 ERA. He also pitched well at night, going 5-3 in 14 outings with a 3.49 ERA. Why the Pirates can pay on the MLB linesPittsburgh surprised many with its deadline deals on Tuesday, showing this team is dedicated to making a run at a wild-card berth. The Pirates are only three games out of a playoff spot and added a top-line starter in Chris Archer from the Tampa Bay Rays.While Archer will need to wait to make his Pittsburgh debut, Nick Kingham (5-5 http://www.metsfanproshop.com/authentic-todd-frazier-jersey , 4.80 ERA) gets the call here looking to get back on track. Gene J. Puskar/Associated PressThe 26-year-old rookie had won three in a row before suffering a setback against the New York Mets last Thursday, surrendering six runs and seven hits in three innings of a 12-6 defeat.Smart betting pickThe Pirates have won the past two meetings after losing four of five in the series. Pittsburgh has also won 14 of 17 overall, while Chicago is sliding and desperately needs a victory in this spot. Fortunately for the Cubs, they have dropped as many as two straight just twice since June 25 when they lost five in a row. Look for Chicago to bounce back with Hamels earning the win.MLB betting trendsThe total has gone under in six of Chicago's last eight games.The total has gone under in four of Chicago's last five games against Pittsburgh.Pittsburgh is 2-4 in its last six games at home against Chicago. All MLB odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.