After avoiding a series sweep with a victory on Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field, the Pittsburgh Pirates returned home to PNC Park to kick off a home stand against the Cincinnati Reds. The two teams had met earlier this season with the Reds sweeping the Bucs. Unfortunately, things did not get any better on Monday in Pittsburgh, as the Reds routed the Pirates by a 14-1 score.
Coming off his most impressive start of the season, Mitch Keller took the mound for Pittsburgh looking to build off that performance with another strong outing. Unfortunately, things regressed for Keller and the Bucs, as he was torched for seven runs on seven hits and two walks in 3.1 innings. The bullpen didn’t perform well either, as Luis Oviedo gave up four runs and Geoff Hartlieb surrendered three runs…although the game was well out of reach at that point anyway.
A solo homerun by Eugenio Suarez in the top of the second put the Reds in front early, but Jacob Stalling’s solo long ball in the bottom of the inning tied the game. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, that would be the only run they would score on the night.
The Reds used a six run fourth inning, highlighted by run scoring singles by Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel along with doubles by Tyler Naquin and Tucker Barnhart, to break the game wide open.
A three run homerun by Naquin in the seventh made things ugly, and doubles by Senzel and Nick Castellanos in the eighth rounded out the scoring.
Certainly, this is one of those games to forget for Pittsburgh. The Reds have had the Bucs’ number early on in the season, first in Cincinnati and now at PNC Park. It was another difficult start for Keller, who has had a nightmare of a season thus far.
Jeff Hoffman and JT Brubaker will take the mound for their respective teams in the second game of this series on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35pm.
Record vs. Reds: 0-4
Record vs. N.L. Central: 6-13
Record at Home: 5-8
Overall Record: 14-20
Let’s Go Bucs!