Pittsburgh Pirates fan throws home run ball into river

By Alex Butler

July 15 (UPI) -- A Pittsburgh Pirates fan took out his frustration by throwing a home run ball into the Allegheny River Friday at PNC Park.

The Pirates have won six of its last seven games now, after beating the St. Louis Cardinals 5-2 Friday in the home contest. But the Bucs trailed 2-0 in the first inning, thanks to Jedd Gyorko.


He stepped up to the plate with two outs down in the opening inning, facing Pirates right-handed starter Gerrit Cole. Cole quickly worked Gyorko into an 0-2 count, but the Cardinals hitter rebounded to make the count full. He took Cole's eighth pitch, an 88.5 mph slider, and sent it over the center field fence. The homer had a distance of 408 feet and left the park at 102.3 mph, according to ESPN's home run tracker.

A fan, wearing a black Pirates jersey and hat, stretched out and made the catch with his gloved hand. He immediately turned to his left and fired the ball into the Allegheny River behind the stadium.

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"I put all of my weight into it, about 285 pounds," the Pirates fan named Jeff said, according to "I used this whole area and just launched it."


"Well, we were in the car and he told me 'well if I catch a Cardinals home run ball I'm gonna throw it back in the river and I didn't think much of it because I didn't think it was going to happen," Jeff's partner told

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The Pirates would not allow another run in the contest. Josh Bell added an RBI single in the third inning and Gregory Polanco added another RBI single in the fifth frame. Bell hit a 3-run home run in the bottom of the ninth for the walk-off victory.

Gyorko finished the game 1-for-4. He now has 14 home runs and 47 RBI, while boasting a career-high .299 batting average this season. The Pirates host the Cardinals at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at PNC Park.

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