The Pirates got two inside-the-park home runs from Kiki Cuyler as they ran up a 10-4 lead in the opener of their five-game series in Philadelphia. Then they had to survive a five-run rally in the ninth in order to pull out a 10-9 win over the Phillies.
Cuyler started the scoring in the first, lining a ball over the center fielder’s head and circling the bases for his 14th home run of the year. Three more runs in the top of the third off Phillies’ starter Jimmy Ring made it 4-0. A double by Clyde Barnhart, a walk and an infield hit loaded the bases with nobody out. A force out and an Earl Smith single brought in a run each, then two errors let in a third.
Johnny Morrison allowed only three scattered hits through the first four innings, but ran into trouble in the fifth. The Phillies loaded the bases with nobody out, and Heinie Sand doubled to score two. Red Oldham came on in relief and managed to get one out, but Johnny Mokan singled to drive in two more, tying the score.
The tie didn’t last long. In the top of the sixth, the Pirates got two runners on with a single and an error. Eddie Moore singled in one and a fielder’s choice made it 6-4. In the seventh, George Grantham made it 7-4, ripping his seventh home run of the year to right.
The Bucs kept adding on. Cuyler led off the eighth with another line drive to center that eluded capture long enough for him to run out his 15th home run of the year. That made it 8-4.
In the bottom of the eighth, Oldham got into a jam when a single and two walks loaded the bases with one out. Babe Adams came on to get a popup and ground out to end the inning.
Adams led off the top of the ninth with a walk and moved up on a two-out infield hit by Cuyler. Barnhart singled to drive in Adams and Cuyler scored on an error, stretching the lead to 10-4.
The big lead barely held. In the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies started off with three straight singles to drive in one run. A walk loaded the bases, but Adams seemingly defused the threat by getting a 6-3 double play grounder, bringing in a second run to cut the lead to 10-6. Two more singles followed, though, making it 10-7 and prompting Bill McKechnie to send for Tom Sheehan. That move didn’t work, as Sheehan gave up RBI singles to Bernie Friberg and Jimmie Wilson, making it a one-run game. McKechnie made another change, going to Ray Kremer, who got Chicken Hawks on a line out to leave the Bucs with a narrow win.
Oldham ended up contributing three and a third scoreless innings, earning him the win. It was his first decision of the year. Cuyler went 4-for-6 and scored three runs. Moore and Barnhart each had three hits, and Grantham scored three times. The Pirates had 16 hits in all.
The Giants edged St. Louis in ten innings. The Pirates’ first-place lead is now six and a half games. The Bucs and Phillies play two tomorrow.