Rich Hill made his debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates this afternoon at Great American Ballpark. The Bucs’ left-hander had a rough first inning, and the Cincinnati Reds went on to a comfortable 6-2 victory.
With the win, the Reds and Pirates will battle it out in the rubber match of the series on Sunday afternoon.
Hill took the loss on the day, giving up three runs on three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in five innings. He was tagged for two homeruns which was the difference in the game. Chase De Jong pitched two innings in relief, also giving up three runs, while Jose Hernandez tossed a scoreless inning.
Nick Lodolo earned the victory this afternoon, giving up two runs on seven hits in five innings while striking out nine batters. The Reds’ bullpen combined to pitch four innings of hitless baseball.
Carlos Santana and Oneil Cruz led the charge for the Bucs, tallying two hits each. Cruz had an RBI as did Connor Joe. As a team, the Pirates had seven hits total, but left nine runners on base.
Pittsburgh scored a run in the top of the first inning. Joe’s RBI single scored Andrew McCutchen and they Bucs held an early 1-0 lead. Cincinnati responded immediately in the bottom of the first inning for three runs. A solo homerun by Jonathan India tied the game, and later in the inning, former Bucco Kevin Newman hit a two run homerun to make it a 3-1 score.
The Pirates cut the Reds’ lead in half in the top of the third when Cruz singled home Santana to make it a 3-2 game. But Cincinnati broke the game open for good in the bottom of the sixth on a three run homerun by Jake Fraley. The long ball made it 6-2, which would be the final score.
After an exciting victory on Thursday, the Pirates came out today and didn’t have much going from the beginning. Hill had a rough start which ended up costing him and the team the game. Although he was able to settle in later and actually ended up striking out seven batters, the damage had already been done. And De Jong couldn’t keep things close either, which ended up being the difference.
The Bucs and Reds will take the field on Sunday looking for a series victory to start this young season. Vince Velasquez will be on the bump for Pittsburgh against Graham Ashcraft for Cincinnati. First pitch is scheduled for 1:40pm.
Record vs. Reds: 1-1
Record vs. N.L. Central: 1-1
Record on the Road: 1-1
Overall Record: 1-1
Let’s Go Bucs!