The Pittsburgh Pirates rallied from a nine-run deficit to beat the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark on Saturday night. It marked the greatest comeback in franchise history, and also dealt a devastating blow to the Reds’ playoff chances.
The game could not have started any worse for the Pirates, as the Reds dropped three runs on them in the first inning. A two run homerun by Christian Encarnacion-Strand and a solo homerun by Tyler Stephenson had Cincinnati off and running early, and they would only add to that lead in the following innings.
TJ Friedl hit an inside-the-park homerun in the second inning, and Encarnacion-Strand added a single that scored a run, and was later followed by a two-run double by Stephenson, making it 8-0. Spencer Steer’s double in the third made it 9-0, and it appeared as though this would be a game to forget for Pittsburgh fans.
But as they have done over and over again this year, the Pirates battled back and did not give up. Alfonso Rivas singled home a run in the fourth to get the Bucs on the board at 9-1. The sixth inning is what made this game competitive, though, as Pittsburgh scored five runs to get right back into it. RBI singles by Ji Hwan Bae and Joshua Palacios made it a 9-3 score, and Bryan Reynolds’ huge opposite field three-run homerun cut the lead to 9-6.
A bases-clearing, three-run double by Rivas in the seventh tied the game, much to the dismay and disbelief of the Cincinnati crowd. RBI singles by Jack Suwinski and Rivas made it 11-9, and a two-run double by Bae made it 13-9.
Of course, the Reds made things interesting the final two innings, scoring two runs in the eighth and a run in the ninth. But with a runner on third and one out, they couldn’t find a way to bring the tying run home, and the Pirates held on for the victory.
This was an incredible game. From the casual fans to the die hards, no one expected this Pirates team to come back and win this game. It was an unbelievable result and one that certainly shows the heart of this club. They will now look for the series sweep when they take the field this afternoon in the final game of the series, and the season, against the Reds. Quinn Priester will be on the bump or Pittsburgh against Brandon Williamson for Cincinnati.
Record vs. Reds: 8-4
Record vs. N.L. Central: 25-26
Record on the Road: 36-41
Overall Record: 74-81
Let’s Go Bucs!