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Pittsburgh Pirates’ Max Kranick dominates MLB debut against St. Louis Cardinals

Jun 27, 2021; St. Louis, Missouri, USA;  Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Max Kranick (45) pitches during the first inning in his Major League debut against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 27, 2021; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Max Kranick (45) pitches during the first inning in his Major League debut against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Max Kranick threw five perfect innings in his big league debut as the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 7-2 Sunday

Kranick (1-0) needed just 50 pitches to get 15 outs and earn the victory. He exited the game after a 1-hour, 4-minute rain delay.

The Pirates won three of four games in the series. They have won six of their last nine games overall.

Ben Gamel (3-for-3, homer, walk, two runs scored, two RBI), Bryan Reynolds (2-for-5, run scored, two RBI) and Adam Frazier (3-for-4, walk, two runs scored) paced the Pirates offense.

The Cardinals have lost eight of their last 10 games and 19 of their last 26. Losing pitcher Johan Oviedo (0-4) allowed five runs on six hits and four walks in four innings.

The Pirates wasted no time getting after him. Frazier led off the game with a walk and raced to third on Ke’Bryan Hayes’ hit-and-run single.

Reynolds hit a RBI single to start the scoring. Hayes took third on that play and scored on Yadier Molina’s passed ball.

Oviedo walked Colin Moran and Jacob Stallings to load the bases. After Gregory Polanco struck out and Kevin Newman flied out, Gamel drew a walk to put the Pirates up 3-0.

The inning finally ended when Kranick grounded out on Oviedo’s 43rd pitch.

The Pirates struck again in the fourth inning. Singles by Gamel, Frazier, Hayes and Reynolds expanded their lead to 5-0.

Polanco and Gamel launched solo homers off reliever Jake Woodford in the fifth inning to push the lead to 7-0.

Duane Underwood Jr. relieved Kranick and pitched a perfect sixth inning, but Dylan Carlson finally broke through with a leadoff double in the seventh. Carlson scored on Nolan Arenado’s sacrifice fly.

Molina hit his 394th career double in the eighth inning, tying him with Jason Kendall for seventh on the all-time list for catchers. Paul DeJong drove him home with a single.

–Field Level Media