Irwin was nervous in the first frame; two ground ball knocks and two walks put him down 2-0. The Reds added another pair in the second on a two-run double by Shin-Soo Choo, abetted by a Starling Marte misplay. He settled in after that, although a fifth inning walk and a pair of bad throws cost him another run. Joey Votto walked, stole second on a wide toss by Mike McKenry, and scored when Cutch came up throwing after a Brandon Phillips knock but let loose an air ball.
Latos was cruising, filling the bottom of the strike zone against the Bucs for six frames. But in the seventh, the Bucs finally solved him. McKenry drove a 3-0 cutter over the fence, and the game was on. It didn't look it after Latos got the next two hitters, but Starling Marte singled and scored on Travis Snider's double to right.
A replay was inconclusive as to whether it carried over the railing on the Clemente Wall or not thanks to a fan with bad hands, and the umps ruled it a two-bagger. No diff; Cutch doubled him home against Logan Ondrusek, and touched the plate himself on Gaby Sanchez's knock through the left side off Manny Parra. At 5-4, it was getting interesting.
Jared Hughes took the ball after Jeanmar Gomez kept the Reds off the board during his 2-1/3 innings of work. Not so Hughes; he missed badly on a 0-2 sinker to Todd Frazier, who belted it into the gap for a double and came around on a Jack Hannahan knock to give the Reds a two run pad. It would prove way too little.
Jonathan Braxton walked Pedro on five pitches, followed by The Fort going long again, just dropping the ball into the LF stands over a leaping Chris Heisey. After an out, JT walked, and Marte crushed a slider to left that barely stayed inside the foul pole to give the Bucs their first lead at 8-6. The Pirate bench was short, so with the lead Jonathan Sanchez pinch hit for Hughes, and he walked.
Cutch singled him to third, and then stole second. Gaby lifted an ankle high slider to center for a sac fly. Dusty Baker finally called on Aroldis Chapman to stop the bleeding - a bit late, we may add - and he gave a knock to Neil Walker to make it 10-6.
We're not quite sure what Clint Hurdle was thinking here, but with a four run lead he called on Mark Melacon instead of Bryan Morris, which meant that MM won't be available tomorrow night. But at any rate, he nailed down the game. Although he was touched for his first run on a Joey Votto blast, he finished with flair by whiffing Jay Bruce and Frazier for the last two outs.
Still, party time in Pittsburgh. They swept the Reds and have the Cards in their sights now. They visit PNC for a three game set starting tomorrow, and the Bucs are just one game behind them in the Central standings.
- The Pirates mashed out a season high 15 hits, breaking the previous season high of 12, set last night. Walker led the team with three knocks, while Marte, Snider, Cutch and The Fort added a pair each.
- This was Mike McKenry's first MLB multi-homer game.
- Joey Votto ended a long power outage. His homer was his first since June 24th, 2012. On the other side of the coin, Johnny Cueto went on the disabled list with lat strain.
- Tony Sanchez snapped his slump at Indy with a 3-for-3 day at the dish as the Tribe beat Columbus 12-7.