Reds Get Best Of Hammer, Take Series From Pirates

by Zane Heiple

Photo By AP

The All-Star break seems like it has been a curse for the Pirates as a team and for the two pitchers that represented the Pittsburgh Pirates in Arizona.  We all know of Kevin Correia’s struggles as of late, but even Joel Hanrahan has not been immune to the teams shortcomings in his recent outings, today was just another sign that the early good season fortune has gone by the way side.

Today’s series finale against the Cincinnati Reds started off great for the Pirates as they would jump out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning on a home run by Andrew McCutchen.  This lead would hold tight until the sixth inning when Reds first baseman Joey Votto hit a three run shot to center field off of Buccos starter James McDonald.  McDonald would leave the game after this inning, allowing three runs on three hits while striking out five and walking three.

Pittsburgh would counter in the bottom part of the inning off of another two run blast, this time by Garrett Jones.  The bullpen combination of Jason Grilli and Jose Veras would keep Cincinnati off of the scoreboard and set the stage for The Hammer to nail down another home victory.  Unfortunately Hanrahan was not his early season self today.  After giving up a leadoff single and a one out walk, Ramon Hernandez would single to left field to tie the game at four.  After another single, Brandon Phillips would ground into a force play at second, but the go ahead run would score for the Reds.  Hanrahan would walk the bases loaded and then get pulled from the game.  His replacement, Daniel McCutchen would strike out Votto to end the inning, but the damage was done as the Pirates fell to Cincinnati 5-4.

Tough loss today for the Buccos, would have been big to take the first two series in this home stand with the Milwaukee Brewers coming to town for a four game series tomorrow.  Pittsburgh did have a chance to win it in the ninth, when Neil Walker hit a one out double, unfortunately Xavier Paul and Brandon Wood were unable to bring him home.  Tomorrow will be a double header against the Brewers.  Game one is scheduled for 5:05pm with Jeff Karstens taking on Chris Narveson.  Game two will begin at 8:35pm with Brad Lincoln making a spot start against the Brew Crew’s big offseason signing Zack Greinke.

Record vs. Reds:  8-4
Record vs. N.L. Central:  28-26
Record at PNC Park:  29-35
Overall Record:  59-66


As Always…

Let’s Go Bucs!!!

Zane Heiple

Zane is Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands and a weekly contributor for Armchair Report on NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA related topics. He's also the smartest man in the world. Just ask him.

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