Pirates bullpen melts down

Pittsburgh reliever Burdi injures rebuilt arm during extreme bullpen meltdown

Associated Press


Pirates reliever Nick Burdi left in tears with a right arm injury, a chilling low point for Pittsburgh in a 12-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night.

Burdi, who had Tommy John surgery in 2017, had already given up five runs in a third of an inning when he fired a 96 mph fastball to Jarrod Dyson.

The 26-year-old Burdi shrugged his right arm after releasing the pitch then crumpled to the ground. Surrounded by teammates, a trainer and manager Clint Hurdle, Burdi sobbed on the mound before standing and walking off holding his arm.

The team said Burdi was dealing with pain in his biceps and right elbow. Formerly a top prospect with the Twins, Burdi had struck out 17 over 81/3 innings prior to Monday in a promising start to the season.

The scene came after the Diamondbacks had already put the finishing touches on a massive rally that turned a three-run deficit into their major league leading ninth comeback win of the season.

David Peralta hit a bases-clearing triple off Kyle Crick (0-1) in the seventh and Christian Walker smacked a two-run homer off Burdi two batters later.

Arizona’s surge started with a walk and four singles — two of them swinging bunts by John Ryan Murphy and newly acquired Blake Swihart that didn’t even reach the pitcher’s mound — that drew them within 4-3.

Peralta then drilled a shot to the gap in right-center off Crick, and Walker followed two batters later with a towering flyball off Burdi that landed in the first row of seats in the right field stands to push the margin to four.

Arizona’s Eduardo Escobar hit his third home run of the season and finished with three hits and three RBIs, including a flare to left field over Pittsburgh’s drawn-in infield in the seventh that set the table for Peralta.

Murphy finished with three hits for the Diamondbacks, who improved to 5-2 on their current 10-game trip. Matt Andriese (3-1) picked up the win in relief.

Pittsburgh right fielder Gregory Polanco doubled and singled in his return from shoulder surgery.

Colin Moran drove in two runs and Josh Bell had an RBI triple, but the Pirates wasted a solid start by Joe Musgrove — who gave up three runs on five hits in six-plus innings — when the bullpen fell apart in the seventh.

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