The Pirates topped the Brooklyn Robins and their ace, Dazzy Vance, 8-5. The win was the Bucs’ fifth in a row and got them back to .500 at 12-12. They’re now in fourth place, half a game behind the Phillies and Robins, but seven in back of the Giants.
Vance presented a challenge for the Pirates. Last year he went 28-6, leading the majors in wins, ERA (2.16) and strikeouts (262). Today, though, the Pirates chipped away at Vance, scoring seven runs against him, six earned, in six and a third innings.
Pirate starter Lee Meadows had his own problems to worry about, mainly his defense. In the bottom of the first, first baseman Boots Grantham muffed a throw that ultimately led to a two-out, two-run double by Brooklyn center fielder Eddie Brown. Catcher Johnny Gooch compounded the problem by dropping the throw and letting the second runner score.
The Pirates came back, though, scoring in the second, third and fourth. The second inning run came when Pie Traynor led off with a double and scored on a Glenn Wright single. That gave Wright a team-leading 22 RBIs.
The Bucs took the lead with two in the third. Max Carey and Kiki Cuyler started the inning with singles. The rally was in peril after Eddie Moore hit into a double play, with Carey forced at third. Clyde Barnhart, though, singled to drive in Cuyler and took third on a single by Traynor. The two then pulled a delayed double steal, with Barnhart swiping home to put the Pirates up.
The Robins tied the game in the bottom of the third when longtime star Zack Wheat singled, went to third on a single and scored on a fly ball by Brown. Grantham quickly got the lead back, though, when he led off the fourth with his first home run of the season, making it 4-3.
Both pitchers held the line until the top of the seventh, when the Pirates finished Vance off. Cuyler led off the inning with his first home run of the year. With one out, the Bucs loaded the bases on two singles, a steal and an intentional walk. Brooklyn manager Wilbert Robinson brought in Jesse Petty, but a passed ball and a ground out scored two more runs, leaving the Pirates up, 7-3.
The Pirates added one more off Petty when Cuyler led off the eighth with a triple and scored when catcher Hank DeBerry couldn’t handle the throw home on Moore’s grounder.
The Robins added meaningless runs in the eighth and ninth. Wheat scored in the eighth after a single and an error on Cuyler in right put him on second. Two ground outs brought him home. In the ninth, a single, a pair of advances on defensive indifference and a ground out brought in the last run, leaving the score at 8-5.
Meadows went the distance, allowing just two earned runs. He’s now 5-2. The Pirates had 15 hits overall, three by Traynor.