Home News Henry Davis belts first Major League home run in Pirates’ loss to Marlins

Henry Davis belts first Major League home run in Pirates’ loss to Marlins

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MIAMI — Henry Davis was in a great mood after hitting his first Major League home run on Thursday night.

Not only did Pittsburgh’s touted rookie take his time jogging around the bases after leading off the eighth inning with a blast that traveled a Statcast-projected 407 feet, but he celebrated at home plate before slipping on the team’s celebratory jacket once inside the dugout.

“That was a great moment with my teammates,” Davis said.

That was about all he would say about his milestone hit. Davis was certainly in a much different frame of mind in the postgame clubhouse and it is easy to see why.

Although Pittsburgh took a three-run lead into the bottom of the eighth following solo shots from Davis and Ke’Bryan Hayes, the Marlins scored five in their half of the inning to rally for a 6-4 win at loanDepot Park, handing the Bucs their 10th consecutive loss.

“It was a good moment, just wish we had won the game,” said Davis, who gave the Pirates a 3-1 lead before Hayes extended it with a solo home run to left.

Pittsburgh got a fantastic start from ace Mitch Keller, who left with a 2-1 lead following seven strong innings. The right-hander yielded one run on five hits and no walks to go with five strikeouts.

But the Marlins loaded the bases to start the bottom of the eighth against Bucs reliever Dauri Moreta.

Carmen Mlodzinski was summoned to put out the blaze, but a two-run single from Bryan De La Cruz pulled Miami within one run.

A three-run jack by Garrett Cooper put the Marlins ahead for good.

“We’re up 4-1 in the eighth; that’s a game we have to finish,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “We did not finish it. The fact we’re up 4-1 and showed signs against a good pitcher, created opportunities. … We were not able to finish the game.”

This should have been a night to celebrate Davis, ranked as the Pirates’ No. 3 prospect by MLB Pipeline and the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft out of the University of Louisville.

Davis was just called up earlier this week after playing just 10 games at Triple-A Indianapolis and running through the Minors, playing just 118 games since leaving Louisville in 2021.

After doubling in his first Major League at-bat on Monday against the Cubs, he had gone 0-for-10 with a walk and two hit-by-pitches prior to his big blast on Thursday night in his first Major League road game.

Good things are ahead for Davis, and he said brighter days are coming for the Pirates.

Davis has yet to be on the winning side since joining the team earlier this week.

“Have to keep that edge about you,” said Davis, who got the ball back from a fan in exchange for an autographed ball, bat and a photo. “We’re a better team than we have played recently. Today does not dictate tomorrow. We have to come out with energy, come out with an edge and compete our tails off.

“Every day is independent of the other. It doesn’t matter what you did.”

Shelton waxed poetic about his team’s losing streak before the game, hoping his team’s fortunes would turn on its trip to Miami.

With three games left in this series, it still might.

Pittsburgh withstood the best Miami starter Braxton Garrett could dish out as the lefty logged a career-high 13 strikeouts and did not walk a batter.

Yet, here were the Pirates leading, 2-1, after Carlos Santana doubled in the tying run in the fourth and then came home after stealing third to give Pittsburgh the lead.

“We faced a really good pitcher, created a run with Santana taking an opportunity,” Shelton said. “We did not finish the game. … Great outing by Mitch, that’s exactly what we needed. … Pitched really well, effective throughout the game.

“It’s frustrating we were not able to finish it for him there.”

The Pirates try to end this losing streak once more on Friday night.

“It got away from us again and we will have to be better the next time,” Keller said. “Every loss stings, but this one hurts a little bit because we had the lead.

“It stings a little. We can’t keep thinking about it. Tomorrow is a new day. We have to act like we’re on a 10-game winning streak, come out, play with some swagger and a different attitude.”

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