The Pittsburgh Pirates extended their winning streak to six games with a 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on Saturday.
With the win, the Bucs improved to 15-7 on the young season, a one half game behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the N.L. Central division.
And yes, while it is WAY too early to be talking about standings, it is nevertheless an incredible start to the 2023 year for the Pirates.
Tonight, Rich Hill was on the bump for Pittsburgh, improving to 2-2 on the season. He gave up one run on six hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in five innings. Yohan Ramirez pitched two scoreless innings, setting the table for Duane Underwood, Jr., who earned his second save of the season by pitching the final two innings.
Luis Cessa took the loss for the Reds, giving up two runs on six hits in 4.2 innings, falling to 0-3 on the year. Cincinnati’s bullpen was effective on Saturday, though, holding the Bucs’ lineup in check over the final four plus innings.
The Pirates jumped out in front almost immediately. Ke’Bryan Hayes led off the first inning with a triple and scored on Bryan Reynolds’ sacrifice fly, making it a 1-0 score. Jack Suwinski’s RBI double in the fourth made it 2-0, which turned out to be the game-winning hit.
Cincinnati cut the Bucs’ lead in half in the top of the fifth inning. Stuart Fairchild’s single to center field scored Jonathan India to make it a 2-1 score. From there on out, the two bullpens took control of the game, and the Pirates held on for the one-run victory.
It’s awfully difficult to describe how unexpected the start to this season has been for Pittsburgh. This has truly been a team effort that has contributed to this winning streak, from the starting pitching to the bullpen to the offense to the timely hits and defensive plays. Pittsburgh has now found themselves in a great position…to sweep a four-game series against a divisional opponent.
The Reds and Pirates will face off in the final game of this weekend’s series at PNC Park on Sunday afternoon at 1:35pm. Hunter Greene will be on the mound for Cincinnati against Vince Velasquez for Pittsburgh.
Record vs. Reds: 4-2
Record vs. N.L. Central: 6-4
Record at Home: 6-3
Overall Record: 15-7
Let’s Go Bucs!