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Afghans celebrate their men's cricket team reaching first Twenty20 World Cup semifinals

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Afghans celebrate their men's cricket team reaching first Twenty20 World Cup semifinals
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Afghans celebrate their men's cricket team reaching first Twenty20 World Cup semifinals

2024-06-25 20:25 Last Updated At:20:31

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghans in their thousands took to the streets to celebrate their men's national cricket team reaching the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time on Tuesday.

Afghanistan beat Bangladesh by a nervy eight runs in St. Lucia in the Caribbean to qualify ahead of 2021 champion Australia.

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Afghanistan's captain Rashid Khan, centre, embraces teammate Gulbadin Naib as they celebrate a wicket during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh at Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghans in their thousands took to the streets to celebrate their men's national cricket team reaching the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time on Tuesday.

Afghanistan's Ibrahim Zadran, centre, reacts with teammates after taking the wicket of Bangladesh's Mustafizur Rahman to win by eight runs in their men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Afghanistan's Ibrahim Zadran, centre, reacts with teammates after taking the wicket of Bangladesh's Mustafizur Rahman to win by eight runs in their men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Afghanistan's captain Rashid Khan, centre, embraces teammate Gulbadin Naib as they celebrate after defeating Bangladesh by eight runs in their men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Afghanistan's captain Rashid Khan, centre, embraces teammate Gulbadin Naib as they celebrate after defeating Bangladesh by eight runs in their men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Afghanistan's captain Rashid Khan, left, embraces teammate Gulbadin Naib as they celebrate after defeating Bangladesh by eight runs in their men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Afghanistan's captain Rashid Khan, left, embraces teammate Gulbadin Naib as they celebrate after defeating Bangladesh by eight runs in their men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Afghan cricket fans celebrate their team's victory during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh, in the city of Khost province eastern of Afghanistan, Tuesday, June. 25, 2024. Afghanistan edged Bangladesh to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time and followed India into the last four following a combination of results that eliminated 2021 champion Australia on Monday. (AP Photo/Saifullah Zahir)

Afghan cricket fans celebrate their team's victory during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh, in the city of Khost province eastern of Afghanistan, Tuesday, June. 25, 2024. Afghanistan edged Bangladesh to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time and followed India into the last four following a combination of results that eliminated 2021 champion Australia on Monday. (AP Photo/Saifullah Zahir)

Afghan cricket fans celebrate their team's victory during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh, in the city of Khost province eastern of Afghanistan, Tuesday, June. 25, 2024. Afghanistan edged Bangladesh to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time and followed India into the last four following a combination of results that eliminated 2021 champion Australia on Monday. (AP Photo/Saifullah Zahir)

Afghan cricket fans celebrate their team's victory during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh, in the city of Khost province eastern of Afghanistan, Tuesday, June. 25, 2024. Afghanistan edged Bangladesh to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time and followed India into the last four following a combination of results that eliminated 2021 champion Australia on Monday. (AP Photo/Saifullah Zahir)

Afghan cricket fans celebrate their team's victory during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh, in the city of Khost province eastern of Afghanistan, Tuesday, June. 25, 2024. Afghanistan edged Bangladesh to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time and followed India into the last four following a combination of results that eliminated 2021 champion Australia on Monday. (AP Photo/Saifullah Zahir)

Afghan cricket fans celebrate their team's victory during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh, in the city of Khost province eastern of Afghanistan, Tuesday, June. 25, 2024. Afghanistan edged Bangladesh to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time and followed India into the last four following a combination of results that eliminated 2021 champion Australia on Monday. (AP Photo/Saifullah Zahir)

Afghan cricket fans celebrate their team's victory during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh, in the city of Khost province eastern of Afghanistan, Tuesday, June. 25, 2024. Afghanistan edged Bangladesh to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time and followed India into the last four following a combination of results that eliminated 2021 champion Australia on Monday. (AP Photo/Saifullah Zahir)

Afghan cricket fans celebrate their team's victory during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh, in the city of Khost province eastern of Afghanistan, Tuesday, June. 25, 2024. Afghanistan edged Bangladesh to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time and followed India into the last four following a combination of results that eliminated 2021 champion Australia on Monday. (AP Photo/Saifullah Zahir)

Afghan cricket fans celebrate their team's victory during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh, in the city of Khost province eastern of Afghanistan, Tuesday, June. 25, 2024. Afghanistan edged Bangladesh to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time and followed India into the last four following a combination of results that eliminated 2021 champion Australia on Monday. (AP Photo/Saifullah Zahir)

Afghan cricket fans celebrate their team's victory during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh, in the city of Khost province eastern of Afghanistan, Tuesday, June. 25, 2024. Afghanistan edged Bangladesh to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time and followed India into the last four following a combination of results that eliminated 2021 champion Australia on Monday. (AP Photo/Saifullah Zahir)

Big screens in various cities drew huge gatherings, even though the match started at 5 a.m. Kabul time.

“I can’t find words to explain my happiness at this moment, it is a massive victory for all Afghans,” said Shah Mohammad, 42, from Kabul. “We are so proud of our national team. They have created such a happy moment for us, and now we are optimistic that the team will make it to the final.”

In the semifinals, Afghanistan will take on unbeaten South Africa in Tarouba, Trinidad on Wednesday night (Thursday morning for Afghans). India plays defending champion England in the other semi.

“All (eyes) on the next one !!,” Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan posted on X. “This is for each and every (Afghanistan) fan who believed in us and kept us going.”

Khan was congratulated in a video call after the match by Taliban acting minister of foreign affairs Amir Khan Muttaqi.

Former president Hamid Karzai also applauded the team and the country. “I offer my heartfelt congratulations to all the countrymen, especially the players of the national cricket team, and wish them continued success,” Karzai wrote on X.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board displayed pictures of the jubilant cricketers including Khan and Gulbadin Naib embracing after the team defended a small revised total of 114 runs against Bangladesh.

“This VICTORY means the world to us!,” the ACB wrote on X. “Congratulations to the entire nation.”

Afghan cricket fans in different countries celebrated the historic achievement by posting videos of them doing the national dance, known as Attan.

Afghanistan's feat is a mild surprise. It was building to it. It reached the second round at the last three T20 World Cups. This time, it knocked out New Zealand in the group stage, and beat former champion Australia for the first time last weekend.

Three of the top five wicket-takers in the tournament are from Afghanistan. Fast bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi has a leading 16. Khan, who grabbed a match-winning four-wicket haul against Bangladesh, has 14. Fast bowler Naveen-ul-Haq has 13.

The opening pair of Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran have stitched together three century partnerships and are among the top three leading run-scorers in the tournament with 281 and 229 respectively.

Rashid, who was carried on the shoulders of his teammates during a victory lap in St. Lucia, believed their performances will inspire Afghan youth.

Those youth, however, will not include girls. As phenomenal as the men's success is, it puts in stark contrast the fate of the women's national team, which was dropped as soon as the Taliban seized power in 2021 after the United States and NATO forces withdrew after two decades of war.

The Taliban have used their interpretation of Islamic law to ban girls from education after age 11, ban women from public spaces, and exclude them from many jobs.

The International Cricket Council has helped to develop the Afghan men but not penalised them for not offering any women's cricket.

The ICC's stance has come into sharper focus as Afghanistan has grown more successful.

“I think the semifinal is going to be a massive, massive inspiration for the youngsters back home in Afghanistan,” Rashid said. “We have done it at under-19 level (two World Cup semifinals), but this level we haven’t done that. Even Super Eight was first time for us and then in semis. It’s an unbelievable feeling.”

AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket

Afghanistan's captain Rashid Khan, centre, embraces teammate Gulbadin Naib as they celebrate a wicket during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh at Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Afghanistan's captain Rashid Khan, centre, embraces teammate Gulbadin Naib as they celebrate a wicket during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh at Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Afghanistan's Ibrahim Zadran, centre, reacts with teammates after taking the wicket of Bangladesh's Mustafizur Rahman to win by eight runs in their men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Afghanistan's Ibrahim Zadran, centre, reacts with teammates after taking the wicket of Bangladesh's Mustafizur Rahman to win by eight runs in their men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Afghanistan's captain Rashid Khan, centre, embraces teammate Gulbadin Naib as they celebrate after defeating Bangladesh by eight runs in their men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Afghanistan's captain Rashid Khan, centre, embraces teammate Gulbadin Naib as they celebrate after defeating Bangladesh by eight runs in their men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Afghanistan's captain Rashid Khan, left, embraces teammate Gulbadin Naib as they celebrate after defeating Bangladesh by eight runs in their men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Afghanistan's captain Rashid Khan, left, embraces teammate Gulbadin Naib as they celebrate after defeating Bangladesh by eight runs in their men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Afghan cricket fans celebrate their team's victory during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh, in the city of Khost province eastern of Afghanistan, Tuesday, June. 25, 2024. Afghanistan edged Bangladesh to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time and followed India into the last four following a combination of results that eliminated 2021 champion Australia on Monday. (AP Photo/Saifullah Zahir)

Afghan cricket fans celebrate their team's victory during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh, in the city of Khost province eastern of Afghanistan, Tuesday, June. 25, 2024. Afghanistan edged Bangladesh to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time and followed India into the last four following a combination of results that eliminated 2021 champion Australia on Monday. (AP Photo/Saifullah Zahir)

Afghan cricket fans celebrate their team's victory during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh, in the city of Khost province eastern of Afghanistan, Tuesday, June. 25, 2024. Afghanistan edged Bangladesh to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time and followed India into the last four following a combination of results that eliminated 2021 champion Australia on Monday. (AP Photo/Saifullah Zahir)

Afghan cricket fans celebrate their team's victory during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh, in the city of Khost province eastern of Afghanistan, Tuesday, June. 25, 2024. Afghanistan edged Bangladesh to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time and followed India into the last four following a combination of results that eliminated 2021 champion Australia on Monday. (AP Photo/Saifullah Zahir)

Afghan cricket fans celebrate their team's victory during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh, in the city of Khost province eastern of Afghanistan, Tuesday, June. 25, 2024. Afghanistan edged Bangladesh to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time and followed India into the last four following a combination of results that eliminated 2021 champion Australia on Monday. (AP Photo/Saifullah Zahir)

Afghan cricket fans celebrate their team's victory during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh, in the city of Khost province eastern of Afghanistan, Tuesday, June. 25, 2024. Afghanistan edged Bangladesh to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time and followed India into the last four following a combination of results that eliminated 2021 champion Australia on Monday. (AP Photo/Saifullah Zahir)

Afghan cricket fans celebrate their team's victory during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh, in the city of Khost province eastern of Afghanistan, Tuesday, June. 25, 2024. Afghanistan edged Bangladesh to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time and followed India into the last four following a combination of results that eliminated 2021 champion Australia on Monday. (AP Photo/Saifullah Zahir)

Afghan cricket fans celebrate their team's victory during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh, in the city of Khost province eastern of Afghanistan, Tuesday, June. 25, 2024. Afghanistan edged Bangladesh to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time and followed India into the last four following a combination of results that eliminated 2021 champion Australia on Monday. (AP Photo/Saifullah Zahir)

Afghan cricket fans celebrate their team's victory during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh, in the city of Khost province eastern of Afghanistan, Tuesday, June. 25, 2024. Afghanistan edged Bangladesh to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time and followed India into the last four following a combination of results that eliminated 2021 champion Australia on Monday. (AP Photo/Saifullah Zahir)

Afghan cricket fans celebrate their team's victory during the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh, in the city of Khost province eastern of Afghanistan, Tuesday, June. 25, 2024. Afghanistan edged Bangladesh to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals for the first time and followed India into the last four following a combination of results that eliminated 2021 champion Australia on Monday. (AP Photo/Saifullah Zahir)

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Nick Gonzales hits winning single in 9th, Pirates rally for 8-7 win over Phillies

2024-07-20 11:13 Last Updated At:11:21

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Nick Gonzales hit the winning RBI single in the ninth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied from a three-run deficit for an 8-7 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.

With the Pirates trailing 7-6, Connor Joe led off the ninth with a single before José Alvarado (1-4) walked Andrew McCutchen. Michael A. Taylor, running for Joe, and McCutchen executed a double steal. Oneil Cruz brought in the tying run on a one-out fielder’s choice.

Gonzales then sent a first-pitch cutter through the left side of the infield to defeat the Phillies, who have lost three of four in front of a sellout crowd of 39,530, the largest in the regular season at PNC Park since April 13, 2015.

“I don’t think so," Gonzales said when asked whether he'd played in a more memorable game. "Just the back and forth, especially against them, it’s pretty cool to do. It kind of shows that we can compete against the best.”

The Pirates have won five in a row to move over .500 at 49-48 for the first time since April 24.

Carmen Mlodzinski (2-3) allowed two singles in the ninth before retiring three in a row.

Weston Wilson, who had a career-best three hits, put the Phillies ahead 4-3 in the third inning with a home run to left, his first this season and second in the majors. He capped a three-run first inning with his first of two singles, grounding it off the chest of third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes to follow a two-run double from Nick Castellanos.

“(Wilson is) a baseball player,” Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson said. “He can run. He can hit. ... He's a baseball player, so we're giving him a chance here. Hopefully, he grabs it.”

Cruz drove in the first of Pittsburgh’s three runs off Aaron Nola in the first, hitting a double with an exit velocity of 120.5 mph to center. He led off the third with another double before scoring on a sacrifice fly to tie it 4-all.

“He was outstanding," Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “I think if anybody needed the four days, it was him, because I think you guys saw him in Chicago. He was beat up and he wasn’t moving at full speed. To be able to get him back to healthy I think is really important.”

Nola was tagged for four runs and six hits with four strikeouts in five innings.

“Early in the game, he looked a little bit rusty,” Thomson said. “Seven days off between starts. A lot of stressful pitches early.”

Trea Turner put the Phillies up for a third time with a two-run homer off Pirates starter Martín Pérez in the fourth inning. Edmundo Sosa scored on Kyle Schwarber’s sacrifice fly to make it 7-4 in the fifth.

Pérez lasted 3 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and two walks.

Cruz hit an RBI infield single in front of Rowdy Tellez’s third sacrifice fly of the night that cut the deficit to 7-6 in the seventh.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Phillies: LHP Ranger Suárez threw Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, going out to 120 feet and throwing a flat-ground session before the game. He missed the All-Star Game with low back spasms. ... RHP Zack Wheeler (back tightness) also threw 120 feet on Friday but did not have a flat-ground session.

Pirates: LHP Bailey Falter threw a live bullpen on Thursday. He was placed on the 15-day injured list with left triceps tendinitis on July 7.

UP NEXT

RHP Luis Ortiz (4-2, 2.84 ERA) will take the mound for the Pirates on Saturday, opposite Phillies LHP Cristopher Sánchez (7-4, 2.96).

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Martín Pérez delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Martín Pérez delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Nick Gonzales hits a walkoff single off Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher José Alvarado during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Nick Gonzales hits a walkoff single off Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher José Alvarado during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper celebrates with teammates in the dugout after coming around to score in the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper celebrates with teammates in the dugout after coming around to score in the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies' Nick Castellanos celebrates after hitting a two-run RBI double in the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies' Nick Castellanos celebrates after hitting a two-run RBI double in the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies' Weston Wilson celebrates with teammates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the third inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies' Weston Wilson celebrates with teammates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the third inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies' Trea Turner (7) reacts as he rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run off of Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Martin Perez in the fourth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies' Trea Turner (7) reacts as he rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run off of Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Martin Perez in the fourth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Oneil Cruz hits an RBI double in the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Oneil Cruz hits an RBI double in the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen slides in safely to third base in the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen slides in safely to third base in the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies' Garrett Stubbs reacts after being hit by a pitch in the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies' Garrett Stubbs reacts after being hit by a pitch in the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Nick Gonzales, center, is is congratulated by teammates after hitting a walkoff single off Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher José Alvarado during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Nick Gonzales, center, is is congratulated by teammates after hitting a walkoff single off Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher José Alvarado during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Nick Gonzales, center, is mobbed by teammates after hitting a walkoff single off Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher José Alvarado during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Nick Gonzales, center, is mobbed by teammates after hitting a walkoff single off Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher José Alvarado during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Nick Gonzales, right, reacts after hitting a walkoff single off of Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher José Alvarado during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Nick Gonzales, right, reacts after hitting a walkoff single off of Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher José Alvarado during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

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