After a dreadful end to their most recent road trip, the Pirates returned home to PNC Park to host the Cincinnati Reds for a 3-game set. Unfortunately, while there were a few glimpses of improvement, the overall theme continued against the Reds, resulting in another series loss against a division foe, as Cincinnati took two out of three games from the Battlin’ Buccos.
Monday, August 2: Once again, the Pirates’ offense was basically non-existent during the first game of the series against the Reds. As a team, our Buccos managed only 3 hits, with Neil Walker, Lastings Milledge, and Delwyn Young each delivering a knock in a losing effort.
Ross Ohlendorf fell to 1-9 on the year after a 5 inning performance, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits while walking 4 on his way to being out-hurled by Reds’ starter Travis Wood. Chris Heisey was the hitting start of the day for Cincinnati, going 2-3 with a HR. The Reds improved to 60-47, bettering their chances in the race against the St. Louis Cardinals for 1st place in the N.L. Central division.
Tuesday, August 3: A huge 6-run 2nd inning proved to be just enough for the Pirates to snap their 5-game losing streak, beating the Reds at PNC Park, 7-6. Chris Snyder, in his second game as a Bucco following the trade with Arizona, got the scoring started with a 2-run single in the 2nd, and later scored on Jose Tabata’s single. Then Neil Walker, who went 3-4 with a career-high 4 RBI, laced a 3-run double, giving the Pirates a huge 6-0 lead.
The Reds certainly didn’t let up though, tallying a run here, a run there, and before long, it was a 7-6 ballgame in the top of the 9th. Joel Hanrahan, however, earned his first save of the season, and ended the Pirates’ losing streak with a much-needed victory.
Wednesday, August 4: Johnny Cueto once again had his way with the Pirates, while the Reds’ offense had their way with the Buccos’ pitching staff, as Cincinnati claimed the afternoon game, and in turn, the series, with a 9-4 win at PNC Park.
Cueto gave up only 1 run, off the bat of Andrew McCutchen on his solo shot in the 1st inning, and only surrendered 2 other hits through his 6 innings of work. Even though the bullpen did give up a solo HR from Pedro Alvarez and a 2-run blast from Jeff Clement, the Reds’ relievers held off the Pirates to ensure the victory.
Buccos’ starter Jeff Karstens lasted 5 innings, giving up 3 runs on 9 hits. Unfortunately, the typically solid bullpen gave up 6 more runs, including a huge 7th inning for the Reds, which broke the game open.
So once again, the Pirates lose a series…this time, at home. Consistency continues to be a problem for the Buccos, who have now lost 6 of 7 games. The Colorado Rockies come into town next for a 4-game set. While the Pirates did have success against the Rockies last week in Colorado, nothing is ever a sure thing for Pittsburgh, and if the bats don’t come alive a little more consistently, it could be a long weekend for the Buccos.
Current Record: 37-70
And…As Always…Let’s Go Bucs!!!