The Pittsburgh Pirates continued their ten-game road trip on Monday night with a 9-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
Over the years, Great American Ballpark has become notorious for being a homerun-friendly stadium, and it certainly lived up to that reputation on Monday, as these two teams combined for six long balls. Unfortunately, four of them came off the bats of Reds’ players, which ultimately ended up being the difference in this game.
The Pirates pitched by committee on Monday, using five pitchers with no single arm lasting more than three innings. Cody Ponce was tagged with the loss (0-5), giving up two runs on three hits in two innings. Vladmir Gutierrez started for the Reds, giving up five runs on seven hits in 3.1 innings. Luis Cessa, throwing just under two innings, earned the win (5-2).
Pittsburgh got off to a great start, scoring five runs in the first three innings to take early control of the game. Solo homeruns by Yoshi Tsutsugo (8) and Bryan Reynolds (24) in the first inning put them up before the Reds even had an at-bat. A single by Tsutsugo and a sacrifice fly by Reynolds in the third inning scored another pair of runs, and a fielder’s choice groundout by Kevin Newman made it a 5-0 advantage. Unfortunately for the Bucs, that would be the last run they would score on the night.
Cincinnati answered in the bottom of the third with four runs to get right back in the game. A two run double by Nick Castellanos got them on the board, and a two run homerun by Joey Votto cut the lead to a single run.
Votto’s second homerun of the game, and 33rd of the season, came in the fifth inning, tying the game. Later in the inning, the Reds took the lead on yet another homerun, a solo shot by Eugenio Suarez to make it 6-5.
A solo bomb by Kyle Farmer and a bases-loaded walk to Delino DeShields in the seventh made it 8-5, and a single by Castellanos in the eighth scored an unnecessary insurance run.
The Pirates’ struggles against the N.L. Central, on the road, and against the Reds specifically continued on Monday night. They will look to get back in the win column on Tuesday night in the second game of this three game series.
Record vs. Reds: 3-11
Record vs. N.L. Central: 19-49
Record on the Road: 22-53
Overall Record: 56-94
Let’s Go Bucs!