Just what the doctor ordered for the Cincinnati Reds coming out of the all star break to face their rivals Pittsburgh Pirates the goal was to win the series and they did just that winning 5-4 on Saturday afternoon at Great American Ball Park
to inch closer to second place.
The game was delayed for one hour and 17 minutes after the Pirates bat in the top of the 1st going scoreless. When the game resumed around 5:40pm the Reds got to Pirates starter A.J. Burnett in the first right off the gates after the weather delay scoring four runs in the inning.
It all began with Shin Soo Choo who extended his hitting streak to a career high 14 games with a double to left center to get it going. Chris Heisey dropped a bunt toward Burnett which at first look a sacrifice bunt beat the lazy throw by him for a single which was proved costly for the Pirates and good for the Reds. Joey Votto reached on first via error by the second baseman as Choo was able to score on the play to make it 1-0 at the process it was Votto’s 500th career RBI. Brandon Phillips continues on his RBI tare added a single to right to make it 2-0.
They weren’t done with one out and the bases loaded, Zack Cozart delivered a sacrifice fly to deep center to score Votto to make it 3-o, Devin Mesaraco brought Phillips home with a bloop double to right to cap the four run inning.
Reds starter Mat Latos was laboring out there today after a lengthy rain delay and the offense scoring four runs in the first did not help him at all today. Pirates got to him in the top of second as Garrett Jones leadoff with a homerun to right. A easy play which should have ended the inning to Cozart turned into a error as he overthrew Phillips scoring another run for the Pirates to make 4-2 at that point.
In the fourth inning Andrew McCutchen hit a solo homrerun to left center to cut the Reds lead to one. Latos was done after going five innings, allowed two earned runs, four hits, walked four and struck out five to earn his 9th win of the season.
The Reds offense was silent after the first inning but rallied in the 6th inning against Burnett. He allowed a two out walk to Heisey to load the bases for Votto, who drew a walk to bring in a run and that was the end of the night for Burnett.
In the eighth inning Alfredo Simon came in and it looked like it was going to be a easy inning for him as he got the first two outs while throwing five pitches. Then the trouble came he allowed a single to Mercer and he scored on a pinch hit double by Travis Snider to make it 5-4. Then a questionable check swing call which looked like a strike ruled a ball on the pinch hitter Gabby Sanchez, Dusty was furious and Simon was wondering where was that call. He then walked on the next pitch and then hit Marte to load the bases and the Reds fan began to worried. Logan Ondrusek came in and got the job done getting a ground out to end the threat.
The ninth inning was more dramatic McCutchen reached on a single as third baseman Jack Hannhan got the ball on a tricky hop but took his time getting the ball to first not able to get the speedy McCutchen. Chapman threw a bad ball to Votto advancing the runner to second. Pedro Alvarez grounded to short Cozart booted for his second error of the game putting runners on 1st and 3rd with no outs. Chapman was able to get a fly out and two strikeouts to end the game and preserve the save his 23rd.
With the win the Reds pull within two games out of second place and will send out Homer Bailey tomorrow looking for the sweep and the Pirates will counter with all star left hander pitcher Jeff Locke. First pitch is at 1:10pm.