Joey Votto and Billy Hamilton were again royal pains to Pirate pitchers. Votto had a pair of RBI, including a two-out, walk off single to win it, while Hamilton was 3-for-5 with a walk and three stolen bases. An added irritants was light hitting Zack Cozart, who doubled, walked, was HBP and scored twice from the eight hole. His slide into home in the 11th, just beating Gregory Polanco's throw and Fran Cervelli's tag, was the winning run.
Mike Leake was wild and ineffective, but did K six in his 5-2/3 IP. Gerrit Cole didn't last that long, going just five frames, also whiffing six but allowing three runs on five hits with a pair of walks and tossing 93 pitches. After that, the pens took over in a 3-3 game. The Pirates added a run off Tony Cingrani; the Reds came back to tie it off Jared Hughes. Otherwise, the relievers ruled, until the 11th. Radhames Liz gave up a hit batter, a walk, and then Votto's knock off a changeup.
Except for Todd Frazier's solo homer, all the Red runs were set up by walks or wild pitches. Cervelli got a rude wake-up behind the dish last night, victimized by two wild pitches and a 4-for-4 base stealing effort by Cincy.
The Bucs had eight hits from eight different players to go with seven walks, but 14 strikeouts put a brake on the scoring, as Pittsburgh went 3-for-15 w/RISP and stranded 11. The key battle was in the sixth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Bryan Price brought in lefty Cingrani to face El Coffee. He fed him nothing but 92 MPH four seamers and got him to whiff chasing a ball in the dirt. Just a reminder that the Pirates are long on potential, but still in several spots a work in progress.
|AJ Looks to claim the Bucs first 2015 win (photo via Baseball News Source)|
Today's Game: The getaway game starts at 12:35. AJ Burnett tries to salvage a game as he faces off against Anthony DeSclafani, a youngster who debuted with the Marlins last year and came over as part of the Mat Latos deal. The game will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan. It's also the MLB Network's "Free Game of the Day" for out-of-town fans.
The Lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Gregory Polanco RF, Cutch CF, Neil Walker 2B, Starling Marte LF, Pedro 1B, Jordy Mercer SS, Tony Sanchez C, Burnett P.
The Reds are going with their everyday lineup on a getaway day, and Pittsburgh has everyone but Fran Cervelli back. Pretty good sign that both sides are going all out today.
- Radhames Liz made his first MLB appearance in the majors since April 20th, 2009 with the Orioles. In fact, Clint Hurdle went through his entire bullpen and bench last night; maybe he thought the club was still in Florida.
- For Joey Votto, heroics are nothing new. His game-winner was the ninth walk-off hit.
- Reds reliever J.J. Hoover snapped his personal 10-game losing streak from last season with the win this morning. Hoover won his first decision of 2014 and didn't win another game during the season.
- Pittsburgh has started the season with two straight losses for the first time since 2006, when the club opened with an 0-6 record.
- The Bucs leave for a three game stand at Milwaukee before returning home for the PNC Opener against the Tigers on Monday.
- Don't expect Charlie Morton to be back in a hurry. He'll be in Pirate City for awhile rebuilding his stroke before he gets any rehab assignments.
- Indy, Altoona, Bradenton and West Virginia all kick off their 2015 season tonight. Indianapolis and West Virginia are home.