Reds starter Tony Cingrani kept the Pittsburgh Pirates from scoring and the bullpen did the rest. The Reds earned a 2-1 victory over the Pirates to take three of four in the series after dropping Monday’s game on a walk-off loss in the ninth inning.
Cincinnati has won seven of its last nine games for an 11-11 record. The club hasn’t been at .500 since the second game of the season.
“Three series [wins] in a row, back to .500,” said left fielder Ryan Ludwick, who hit the two-run double in the sixth that put the Reds on top. “The pitching was outstanding today. Pitching wins championships. Those guys did an outstanding job. We keep getting pitching like that, we’ll be back in this thing in a hurry.”
Over the six innings with six hits, Cingrani gave up one run and two walks with seven strikeouts.
“I was a little upset with that first inning,” said Cingrani, who is 2-2 with a 2.86 ERA in five starts. “I threw the ball a little better than I did the last time. My mechanics are getting a little bit more repeatable, but I still have a little ways to go.”
“We were starting to get a little irritated, because we had three hit batters in the game. A couple of our guys got squared up pretty good,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “I don’t think there was any intent to it, but the fact that his two-run double followed the third hit-by-pitch had a little bit more sweetness to it, for sure. It was a big, big hit.”
“He’s really a gritty guy, because when he needs to make a pitch, he makes a pitch,” Price said. “He had some really big challenges in that game.”
The road trip now moves to Atlanta for a three-game series vs. a first-place Braves team. A couple of weeks ago, when the Reds were 3-8, this might have seemed more daunting on the schedule. Now the club has seemed to right itself and is building some momentum for the first time this season.
“We’re doing well. We just have to keep it rolling,” Ondrusek said. “We started off a little rough, but we’re coming around. We’re getting guys healthy. Guys are starting to get back into form, and we’ll just keep going.”