The struggle against the Cincinnati Reds continued for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night, falling 8-2 at PNC Park. The Bucs have now lost four of five games to Cincinnati so far this year, and with two games left this weekend, they are in serious jeopardy of losing a series against their divisional foes for the second weekend in a row.
Mitch Keller started for Pittsburgh, and once again, he struggled. Giving up five runs on five hits with two walks in 4.2 inning, he suffered his fifth loss of the season (0-5). His mound opponent, Tyler Mahle, earned his second victory of the season (2-4) while giving up two runs on five hits in six innings.
Ben Gamel’s solo homerun – his third of the season – in the bottom of the first inning gave the Bucs the early lead…but that would be the only time they led in the game.
Cincinnati’s two run third put them in front on a double by Kyle Farmer and a sacrifice fly by TJ Friedl. Pittsburgh tied the game in the bottom of the inning when Ke’Bryan Hayes doubled home Gamel to make things even at 2-2.
The Reds distanced themselves from the Pirates over the next handful of innings to make this a comfortable victory. A solo homerun by Mike Moustakas in the fourth broke the tie, and a two run double by Brandon Drury increased their lead to 5-2.
A three-run seventh inning put the game firmly out of reach. Drury’s two run homerun was followed later in the inning by a solo shot by Moustakas to make it 8-2, which would be the final.
The Pirates’ woes against the Reds, and the N.L. Central in general, continued on Friday night. Whether it is at home or on the road, the Bucs can’t seem to find a way to beat this Reds’ team, who has won just a total of nine games all season…but four of them have been against Pittsburgh.
Zach Thompson will take the mound on Saturday night for the Bucs against Luis Castillo for Cincinnati. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35pm.
Record vs. Reds: 1-4
Record vs. N.L. Central: 6-14
Record at Home: 7-10
Overall Record: 13-19
Let’s Go Bucs!