King Cole again stumbled coming out of the chutes, when he allowed three of his seven runners to reach and surrendered a two-out bloop to plate a run. Other than that, two walks in the third (followed by two strikeouts) and two singles in the fifth - a grounder through the left side and an infield single - was all the Padres were getting off Pittsburgh's merry old soul.
Tony Watson, Jason Grilli and Stolmy Pimentel closed the gate in the last three frames. Tony and Grilled Cheese were perfect, while Stolmy survived a walk, an infield single and a wild pitch to tack on a final zippo.
The Pirates broke open a 1-1 game with five runs in the fourth, highlighted by homers from Neil Walker (two runs), a solo shot by Pedro and a two run double by JT. The Bucs added on. The Kid went 4-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored, while Jose Tabata collected a pair of knocks, scored three times and brought in two runners. Pedro had two hits with two runs and two ribbies, and Tony Sanchez added two knocks, two runs scored and a web gem catch.
The Bucs are a notoriously streaky team at the dish, so we can hope this is the start of a hot spell (although it could just as easily be an outlier). As Clint Hurdle told @DavidManel : "It'd be good time for anybody who wants to get hot, to get hot." Another thing to watch is how often the Reds walk/plunk Cutch - he was given a pair of free passes today, and you can bet Dusty Baker isn't about to let Andrew McCutchen beat him in the upcoming cage matches.
The biggest series of the year, version 6.0, starts tomorrow with Francisco Liriano taking on Mat Latos.
- The 12 punch outs by Gerrit Cole today are the most by a Pittsburgh rookie since Jose DeLeon struck out 13 Reds in 1983. It's also a personal best.
- Pedro's 34th homer matched the team record for HRs by a third baseman (with Aramis Ramirez), and tied Paul Goldschmidt for NL lead.
- Today's get-away day attendance: 26,242.