Bryan Reynolds hit two homeruns on Monday night as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Boston Red Sox in a wild game at Fenway Park.
With the victory, the Bucs climbed back to an even .500 mark at 2-2 on this young season, and have put themselves in a nice position to earn a series victory on the road.
The starters struggled for their respective teams on Monday. Johan Oviedo had a highly disappointing beginning to his 2023 season, giving up five runs (four earned) on six hits, including three homeruns, along with four walks. The Bucs’ bullpen was taxed, using five pitchers in relief. Duane Underwood, Jr. tallied the victory, while David Bednar earned his second save of the season. Kutter Crawford suffered the loss for Boston, giving up seven runs on eight hits in just four innings.
Pittsburgh jumped on the board early with three runs in the first inning. A single by Ke’Bryan Hayes scored the game’s first run, and a two run double by Canaan Smith-Njigba made it 3-0. The lead was unfortunately short-lived.
Boston responded immediately with five runs of their own in the bottom of the first. A solo homerun by Rafael Devers and a two run homerun by Masataka Yoshida made it 3-3, and a two-run homerun by Triston Casas made it a 5-3 score after one frame.
Reynolds’ first homerun came in the top of the second inning, cutting into the Red Sox’s lead. It was a solo blast to right field, making it 5-4. A single by Jack Suwinski in the third inning scored Hayes to tie the game. The fourth inning proved to be the difference in the game, as the Bucs capitalized on two solo homeruns to extend their lead, which would end up being enough to seal the victory.
Jason Delay’s solo homerun broke the tie, making it 6-5, and Reynolds followed that up with a solo shot of his own, his third of the season and second of the game, to make it 7-5. The Red Sox clawed back within a run in the sixth inning on a RBI single by Adam Duvall, but they couldn’t score another run over the game’s final few innings, as the Pirates held on for the victory.
Well as they say, a win is a win. However, there were some good things and some bad things to take away from this game. While it was an impressive showing by Reynolds and the offense, there were some defensive shortcomings and the pitching faltered tonight. In particular, it was a disappointing first start of the season for Oviedo. If Pittsburgh is going to be competitive in this N.L. Central division, it begins and ends with the start pitching, so this will certainly be a story to follow going forward.
The Pirates and Red Sox will take the field on Tuesday for the second game of this series at Fenway Park. Roansy Contreras will take the mound for Pittsburgh against Nick Pivetta for Boston.
Record vs. Red Sox: 1-0
Record vs. American League: 1-0
Record on the Road: 2-2
Overall Record: 2-2
Let’s Go Bucs!