Throughout the course of this difficult season for the Pittsburgh Pirates, they have certainly had their share of problems against certain teams. The Cincinnati Reds are at the top of that list, occupying a 9-1 record against the Bucs entering Tuesday’s game at PNC Park.
On Tuesday, the Pirates built a big lead and held off a late game Reds’ rally to claim a 6-5 victory in the first game of this three game set on the north shore.
Dillon Peters earned his first victory (1-2), out-dueling the Reds’ Wade Miley (12-6) on this night. Peters was solid on the mound, giving up just five hits and issuing one walk while striking out five batters in five innings. Miley, on the other hand, was not himself on the bump, getting tagged for six runs (five earned) on ten hits in 4.1 innings.
Nick Mears was the culprit for allowing the Reds back into the game, giving up four runs on five hits and a walk in the sixth inning. Chris Stratton, despite giving up a run in the ninth, earned his fifth save of the year.
Pittsburgh scored three runs in the first inning to immediately take control of the game. Singles by Yoshi Tsutsugo, Jacob Stallings, and Ben Gamel each scored a run, putting the Bucs out to a 3-0 advantage.
Another single by Tsutsugo and a double by Stallings scored three more runs, and the Pirates a commanding 6-0 lead. It looked as though it may be comfortable victory for the Bucs. The Reds, however, had other plans.
Cincinnati immediately responded with four runs in the sixth inning to get back into the game. A two run single by Tucker Barnhart got them on the board, and after a RBI fielder’s choice by Jonathan India, Kyle Farmer singled home a run to cut the lead to 6-4.
Nick Castellanos made things a bit more interesting when he blasted a solo homerun, his 29th of the season, to center field in the ninth inning, making it just a one-run game. But that is as close as the Reds would get, as Stratton was able to close things out to secure the victory for Pittsburgh.
It was a rare occurrence on Tuesday night at PNC Park – the Pirates beating the Reds. Cincinnati currently holds the final wild card spot in the playoffs, so it makes it that much sweeter to play spoiler and beat them in these crucial games. The Bucs will look to earn the series victory when they take the field on Wednesday night in the second game of this series.
Record vs. Reds: 2-9
Record vs. N.L. Central: 18-47
Record at Home: 33-40
Overall Record: 53-91
Let’s Go Bucs!