PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — The ingredients were all in place for the Pirates to sweep the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, they got another solid start and another record crowd at PNC Park.
However, at the end of their first at-bat, the vibe changed, the defense gave out and the hopes of a sweep slipped away as Boston snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-2 win.
During that first inning, left-fielder Jose Tabata injured his left quadricep while beating out an infield hit.
Tabata hit a chopper to third base and pulled up after running through the bag at first. He toppled to the ground and remained on the grass writhing in pain for several minutes, then was placed on a stretcher and taken off the field on a golf cart. Garrett Jones took over for him at first base.
The Pirates say Tabata will undergo additional tests Monday.
Andrew Miller (1-0) picked up his first win with Boston, scattering five hits over six innings. He struck out four and allowed just one earned run. Recently promoted from the minors, he earned his first AL victory since 2007 with Detroit.
Meanwhile, the Pirates tied a season high with four errors, preventing them from moving three games above .500 this late in the season for the first time in 12 years.
Adrian Gonzalez had two hits for Boston and raised his batting average to .361, tops in the majors. Yet the Red Sox won by doing the little things, scoring their four runs on a Pittsburgh error, a pair of sacrifice flies and an RBI groundout.
It wasn’t just the Pirates though who had a starting outfielder leave in the early innings. Boston right fielder J.D. Drew exited in the second because of a bruise to his left eye sustained during batting practice.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 14th save in 15 chances.
Tim Wood (0-2) took the loss in relief as the Pirates’ normally reliable bullpen showed signs of stress following a busy week.
The Pirates came in looking for an unlikely sweep over one of baseball’s top teams. They posted a pair of electric victories on Friday and Saturday, but couldn’t make it three straight.
The Bucs ran themselves out of a potential big inning in the fifth when Garrett Jones overran third base on an RBI single by Andrew McCutchen and Miller escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam by allowing just one run.
The Pirates are expected to call up outfielder Alex Presley to take Tabata’s place before heading to Toronto.
Tabata is batting .262 with three home runs and 15 RBIs for the Pirates, who began the day two games above .500 this late in the season for the first time since 1999.
The Pirates and Blue Jays begin their three-game series Tuesday at 7:07 p.m.