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Pirates defeat Marlins in 10 innings for a 4-game sweep in season-opening series

The Pittsburgh Pirates are still having an unbeaten season in 2024.

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ flawless 2024 season continues.

The team's 9-7 victory in 10 innings on Easter Sunday at loanDepot Park in Miami led to a four-game sweep of the Marlins in the opening series.

A remarkable display of bunting in the top of the 10th made the difference for the Pirates.

When manager Derek Shelton decided to have Oneil Cruz as a pinch-runner at second base, Alika Williams moved him to third with a bunt, causing an error by pitcher Tanner Scott.

Later, catcher Jason Delay bunted down the first-base line, allowing Cruz to score the winning run by beating a throw from Jake Burger.

The Pirates scored another run when Scott walked Michael A. Taylor with the bases loaded, bringing in Williams.

Reliever Hunter Stratton, in his third appearance of the series, was chosen to pitch the bottom of the 10th.

Stratton settled down after giving up a leadoff single to Josh Bell, striking out two to earn his first MLB save.

The Pirates were ahead 7-6 in the bottom of the ninth, but David Bednar couldn't hold the lead and allowed a solo homer to pinch-hitter Nick Gordon.

Bednar blew the save but ended up as the winning pitcher on Sunday.

Early in the game, the Pirates were losing 5-0 by the end of the first inning but gradually reduced their deficit. A three-run homer in the seventh by Rowdy Tellez, his first in a Pittsburgh uniform, put the Pirates in the lead at 7-6.

Tellez fought against Marlins reliever Vladimir Gutierrez for eight pitches before hitting a 3-2 fastball over the center-field wall.

Bailey Falter, given a spot in the starting rotation at the beginning of the season, had a tough time in his first outing. He walked the first two batters he faced in the first inning, allowed an RBI single to Jake Burger, and then Jazz Chisolm Jr. hit a grand slam on a 2-0 sinker.

The Marlins had seven batters before Falter managed to get an out, striking out Tim Anderson swinging.

Williams, in the eighth batting position and making his first start of the year, got the Pirates on the scoreboard in the second with a two-out, two-run triple off Trevor Rogers that left fielder Bryan De La Cruz failed to catch on a backhanded diving attempt. Williams’ hit brought in Jack Suwinski and Jared Triolo, both of whom singled, making the score 5-2.

After walks to Delay and Connor Joe to load the bases, Bryan Reynolds brought in Williams with a softly hit infield single.

In the fourth, the Pirates had more luck with two outs when Ke’Bryan Hayes singled home Joe, who also singled, bringing the score to 5-4.

But Miami went up 6-4 when Avisail Garcia hit a home run off Falter, who managed to settle down, in the bottom of the fourth.

Falter lasted four innings, giving up six runs (all earned) on five hits, which included two home runs.

The 26-year-old walked three, struck out two, and threw 40 of his 67 pitches for strikes.

After Falter left, Luis Ortiz entered the game and gave the Pirates two scoreless innings, striking out one and walking one, following up Thursday’s scoreless multi-inning outing.

Ryan Borucki threw a seventh inning without allowing any runs, and Aroldis Chapman struck out all three batters in the eighth inning.

Triolo (2 hits in 3 at-bats with a walk) and Hayes (2 hits in 5 at-bats with a walk and an RBI) were the only Pirates players with more than one hit.

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