Cincinnati Can’t Keep an Early Lead, Pittsburgh Pirates Defeat Reds
Just one day after the Cincinnati Reds completed a sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies, with strong performances by Jay Bruce (2 HR, 5 RBI) and Eugenio Suarez (1st career grand slam), the parade is over as the Pittsburgh Pirates defeat Reds, handing them their first loss on the season.
After leading for 7 innings, Starling Marte would blast his 1st career grand slam off of reliever J.J. Hoover putting the Pirates up 6-5. With only 6 outs to work with, the Reds couldn’t pull together the tying run dropping their first game into the loss column.
Cincinnati’s Early Lead
The Reds, who came from behind in all three games against the Phillies, took a different approach against Pittsburgh. They started the scoring off early on a ground out that would drive in a run, which was followed by a solo HR by Brandon Phillips in the 1st inning. Phillips was welcomed back after missing a couple of games due to a stomach virus.
Pirates’ pitcher Fransisco Loriano would have a good night at the plate, scoring an RBI in the 2nd inning on one of his two hits against Reds’ starter, Alfredo Simon. In the 3rd, Brandon Phillips would bring in another run on a sacrifice fly to centerfield with bases loaded.
The Pirates would then manage one run in the 5th only to be outdone by Cincinnati with one run each in the 6th and 7th pulling ahead by three runs, 5-2. By the end of the 7th inning, the idea that the Pittsburgh Pirates defeat Reds was unheard of.
In the 8th inning, after two quick outs, trouble began to brew for the Cincinnati Reds. John Jaso was hit by pitcher Ross Ohlendorf, which was followed by a wild pitch that advanced Jaso to second base. The next batter up, Andrew McCutchen, was walked. Next up, David Freese singled, which loaded the basesup. With Starling Marte, already 2 for 3, coming to the plate, manager Bryan Price had seen enough (or so he thought).
Ohlendorf was replaced by J.J. Hoover. Marte would only need two pitches from Hoover to deliver his first career grand slam and the trailing Pirates took a one-run lead. The same Reds’ team who had fashioned 8 runs in the 4th inning the previous night, had given up 4 vital runs in the 8th, handing over the lead.
In the final two at-bats for the Cincinnati Reds, no batter would reach first and the Pittsburgh Pirates defeat Reds, holding onto their 4th win in 4 consecutive games. The win put themselves one game up in the National League in this still juvenile 2016 season.