|Ivan couldn't solve Joey Votto & Adam Duvall today (photo Pgh Pirates)|
The Pirates got a bunt single from J-Hay in the fifth and Ivan's bad day continued. With two gone and Billy Hamilton on second thanks to a rap and steal, Votto's second two-bagger plated Hamilton and Duvall's triple to left - it kicked away from Gregory in the corner - made it 4-1. J-Bell and Fran teamed up with two gone in the sixth to get a run back with consecutive doubles. A Reds single followed by a DP made it a 1-2-3 rebound frame for Nova. Michael Lorenzen tossed a clean seventh and Juan Nicasio took over for Pittsburgh, bending a bit but not breaking as Cincinnati left a pair stranded. Lorenzen pitched another shutdown frame in the eighth. Daniel Hudson gave up a walk, but a strike 'em out, throw 'em out DP ended any threat. Raisel Iglesias gave up a J-Bell knock in the ninth, but that led to nada as the Bucs dropped another.
|J-Bell collected another pair of knocks (photo Pgh Pirates)|
Well, Ivan was human today, and four runs continues to be the Pirates magic number. When the Pirates score fewer than four times, they're 1-15; when they score four or more, they're 11-1 and that held true during the series. One issue has been the inability to cash in on opponent's relievers - the Pirates are slashing just .210/.305/.344 after they chase the starter, so getting into the bullpen hasn't helped the Bucco bats at all. The first half of the 14-game May road trip, broken up by a three-game set starting tomorrow at PNC v the Brewers, ended at 3-4 and the Bucs have now dropped 4-of-5.
- J-Bell and Fran had a pair of hits.
- Cutch kept his on base-streak alive at 22 games.
- Cincinnati is 6-1 against the Bucs already this year; they were 9-10 v the Pirates in 2016. The two teams don't meet again until August.
- BTW, the four-game rest for Fran seemed to do the trick; he was on his horse running today as he showed by scoring from first on Gift's double.
- The Pirates issue with RISP is directly related to their overall stickwork; they've hit .236 as a team going into today and .235 w/RISP, and they're actually a little more patient with ducks on the pond - the team OBP is .325 and jumps to .367 w/RISP.