Perhaps the Pittsburgh Pirates offense has awakened. And if it has, it couldn’t come at a better time for the Bucs, who clinched home field advantage for the teams’ Wild Card playoff game on Tuesday night with an 8-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark.
The Pirates tallied thirteen hits, including six homeruns, on their way to a comfortable blowout victory over Bronson Arroyo and the Reds. Neil Walker led the way with two long balls, while Andrew McCutchen, Marlon Byrd, Pedro Alvarez, and Andrew Lambo each had a round-tripper as well.
Walker and Cutch went back-to-back in the third to get the Bucs on the board at 2-0. After Cincy scored three times in the bottom of the inning to take the lead temporarily, Alvarez hammered a solo shot on the first pitch he saw to tie the game. Walker and Byrd went yard in the fifth, and Lambo hit his first career MLB homerun in the sixth. After adding a run in the eighth, the Bucs turned to Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli to close things out in Cincinnati.
This was a VERY encouraging sign for the Pirates and their fans. Not only did they take the first pair of games in this gigantic series against the Reds, but the Bucs’ offense really took off today, something we, as fans, would love to see in the days and weeks ahead.
The Pirates will host the Wild Card playoff game on Tuesday at PNC Park. For now, though, we can all enjoy the victory and look forward to the last game of the season tomorrow afternoon. For the first time in PNC Park history, there will be a home playoff game in Pittsburgh.
Record vs. Reds: 10-8
Record vs. N.L. Central: 44-31
Record on the Road: 43-37
Overall Record: 93=68
Let’s Go Bucs!