Sunday, August 31, 2014

Heisey Homers Power Reds Over Bucs 3-2

It was a promising start; Frankie Liriano struck out the side in the first while Josh Harrison took Johnny Cueto's first pitch, a slider, over the fence. Liriano kept dealing in the second, and Jordy cracked a hung slider into the seats to make it 2-0; unfortunately for the Bucs, Starling Marte was picked off first before Jordy connected.

The Reds got a walk in the third while the Pirates action was a double by Andrew Lambo; neither led to any damage. Cincy managed a two-out knock in the fourth; the bucs blew a chance. Ike singled, but was quickly erased on a Marte DP that took a challenge to confirm; Jordy followed with a single. Chris Stewart's pop up closed the book.

Frankie walked the first batter, Ryan Ludwick, in the fifth on four pitches, then Chris Heisey crushed a first pitch change up into the seats to tie the game. A single, walk and wild pitch put Reds at second and third with two gone, but a Brandon Phillips comebacker ended the frame without further bloodshed. The Pirates went down quietly. In the sixth, both teams exchanged singles.

Billy Hamilton singled with two gone in the seventh and stole second, and a fly to Cutch kept him there. Pittsburgh went down in order.

Jared Hughes came on in the eighth and tossed a 1-2-3 frame. The Bucs got Josh and Cutch, both of whom singled, to second and third with two down, but Kris Negron's diving, back-to-the-ball grab of Ike's foul pop left them stranded. With an out in the ninth and Hughes on the hill, Heisey golfed a sinker that was down and in off the plate just inside the left field foul pole to give the Reds a 3-2 lead. Jared got another out, then gave up a single. That brought Justin Wilson in to finish up the inning.

Aroldis Chapman diced up the Bucs in the ninth, hitting 101 with the heater and the high eighties with the slider, and the Reds salvaged a game of the series.

if this home stand is any indicator, hang on to your defibrillator. Looks like a lot of down to the wire, grind 'em out games are in store for the stretch run. we just hope the bullpen holds up; Clint has shortened it noticeably now that it's crunch time.

Gerrit Cole takes on Lance Lynn as the Pirates travel to St. Louis to open a big 10 game road trip.
  • The Pirates are two games behind the Brewers and Cards for first in the NL Central, and three behind the Giants for the top wild card.
  • For the fifth time this year, the Pirates failed to extend a winning streak to five games. 
  • Despite the weather, 37,591 fans showed up for the 18th sellout of the season.
  • In 38 plate appearances against the Bucs, Chris Heisey has three HR's. In his other 216 PA's against the rest of the league, he has four long balls.

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