Today’s game at the Great American Ballpark between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds really showcased how the Buccos have been winning all season long. The combination of a good start by Jeff Locke, quality defense, and some timely hits is what led them to a 3-2 win today.
The final stat line for Locke today, six innings pitched allowing one run on one hit with six strikouts and four walks, looked better than how he performed in my opinion. That was most likely due to the fact that his offense was only able to give him a run of support over those six innings. The fifth inning was the toughest inning, as Cincinnati had runners on second and third with two outs. Zack Cozart would score on a wild pitch, but Locke was able to induce a pop out to left to end the inning.
The seventh inning saw Pittsburgh use three different pitchers, with Tony Watson walking a batter to begin the inning. Bryan Morris was then summoned from the pen and would collect the first two outs, before Justin Wilson collected a K to end the inning. Mark Melancon made things interesting in the eigth. A single sandwiched between two walks loaded the bases for the Reds with zero outs to start the frame. Luckily Joey Votto grounded into a 3-6-1 double play, which was followed up by a ground out to short. These three outs only cost the Buccos one run. Jason Grilli allowed one hit in the ninth, but he was able to collect his 30th save of the season.
While the Buccos didn’t have much offense today, they were able to collect just enough to avoid the sweep. It all started in the second with a solo home run by Garrett Jones. Pittsburgh then collected two runs in the seventh. The first on a Jordy Mercer single to center that scored Michael McKenry. Jose Tabata would then hit a pinch hit RBI single to center that would bring home Mercer for what ended up being the game winning run.
While the offense still has some holes to fill if this team wants to make a serious playoff push, the pitching staff and defense has continued to give this team the opportunity to win each night. The Pirates will now head to our nations capital for a four game series against the Washington Nationals that will begin tomorrow night at 7:05pm.
Record vs. Reds: 7-6
Record vs. N.L. Central: 26-17
Record on the Road: 25-21
Overall Record: 57-39
Let’s Go Bucs!