The Pittsburgh Pirates began a ten-game road trip on Monday night with the first of four games against the Cincinnati Reds. Neither team has much to play for at this point in the season, besides trying to stay out of the cellar of the National League Central Division. Even with that, young players are trying to make their mark and stake a claim to be on the opening day roster next year. Pittsburgh had a few players do that tonight in a series opening 6-3 victory.
Bryan Reynolds started things off in the first inning with a solo home run to left field. Aristides Aquino answered for Cincinnati in the fourth inning to give the Reds a one run lead on a two run homer, their only lead of the night. A three-run home run by Rodolfo Castro and a two-run homer from Diego Castillo in the fifth gave the Pirates the lead back and increased it to four. TJ Friedl scored on an infield single by Alejo Lopez in the sixth for Cincinnati’s final run of the night.
Bryse Wilson made the start for Pittsburgh and pitched 5.2 innings. He would allow three runs on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Robert Stephenson worked 1.1 innings, striking out three of the four batters he faced. The final two innings belonged to Wil Crowe, who allowed two hits, with two walks and a strikeout, while earning his fourth save of the year.
Mike Minor was on the bump for all six Pirates runs tonight, though only four were earned. He would also give up seven of Pittsburgh’s ten hits, to go along with three walks and five strikeouts. The Reds used four men out of the pen tonight. They would combine to pitch four innings, giving up three hits, walking two and striking out four.
With a doubleheader on Tuesday, it was great to see the Pirates only use two relief pitchers on the night. The offensive boost from young players gives many optimism that brighter days are not too far away. It will be a day-night doubleheader, so game one is slated for 12:35pm, with game two set for 6:40pm.
Record vs. Reds: 6-7
Record vs. N.L. Central: 25-35
Record on the Road: 24-45
Overall Record: 52-88
Let’s Go Bucs