Pirates hang on to win see-saw game against Reds, 7-6
The Pittsburgh Pirates hung on to win a back-and-forth game, that was headlined by Andrew McCutchen’s big day at the plate, against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday afternoon, 7-6.
Mccutchen went 3-for-3 with two walks, a home run, two RBI and a run scored.
McCutchen told Lacee Collins of Root Sports, “It was definitely good…Just to be able to come through. I couldn’t do it without the guys getting on base. We just played a hard nine innings today and that’s what we have to do against a team like the Reds. They are a great team. They pitch well, they hit well, so we just have to play hard nine innings and we were able to do that today.”
“I’m just comfortable in general,” McCutchen said when asked if he was comfortable batting lead-off. “It doesn’t matter where I’m at, I’m just comfortable. I’m starting to feel better, starting to feel good…and watch out!”
The Pirates quickly got to Edison Volquez in the 1st inning. Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata hit back-to-back homers to give the Bucs a 2-0 lead. It marked the first time the Pirates have lead-off a game with back-to-back homers since July 5, 1982 and just the third time in Franchise history.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Root Sports, “It was an awful good game for him [McCutchen]. He’s been working hard, battling and believing in himself…This kid’s a good player. He was the aggressor today across the board for us in offense. We need him to go at the top.”
The runs didn’t stop there. Volquez walked Lyle Overbay and Neil Walker doubled off the wall -his fifth double this season. Garrett Jones drew a walk to load the bases. Chris Syder walked to bring home a run and Ronny Cedeno hit a sac fly, giving the Bucs a 4-0 lead. Volquez threw 33 pitches in the frame and faced nine batters. His first inning ERA shot up to 29.25 this season. Volquez ERA after the first inning? Just 1.93.
Jeff Karstens left a slider down the middle of the plate, and Jonny Gomes hit a solo home run to cut the lead to 4-1 in the 2nd inning. It was the third homer by Gomes in the past two games against the Pirates.
Karstens got Scott Rolen and Jonny Gomes to strike out, then he allowed three straight hits and a run to score in the 4th.
After pitching four good innings, Karstens ran into trouble in the 5th. He gave up a solo-home run to Miguel Cairo to bring the game within one run. Scott Rolen hit a RBI double to tie the game at four. Manager Clint Hurdle brought in Daniel McCutchen from the ‘pen, and he allowed a single by Jay Bruce to score Rolen, the go-ahead run.
Karstens allowed five runs on eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts over 4.1 innings (76 pitches).
The Pirates fought back in the 6th inning. Garrett Jones -who finished the day 2-for-4 with a run, a walk and a RBI — hit his third homer of the season to tie the game back up at 5. It was the third home run that Volquez gave up to the Bucs in the game.John Bowker hit a pinch-hit two-out double off the center field wall to score Ronny Cedeno and put the Bucs back on top, 6-5.
Volquez allowed six runs on five hits with six walks and six strikeouts over 5.2 innings.
Jay Bruce hit a 1-1 fastball off Jose Veras for a solo-shot in the 7th inning to tie the game at 6.
McCutchen singled off of Logan Ondrusek to center field to score Chris Snyder in the 8th and put the Pirates back on top for what would be the game winning run. Ondrusek suffered his first loss of his career after winning seven straight.
Joel Hanrahan was called upon for a five out save in the 8th inning with runners on first and second with one out. Hanrahan threw just four pitches as Rolen lined out to shortstop Cedeno, who doubled off Cairo at second base to end the threat, and inning.
With a one run lead, the inning was a bit wild for Hanrahan. With one out, Jay Bruce singled on a ground ball. Catcher Chris Snyder threw the ball over the head of first baseman Lyle Overbay but Neil Walker was behind the bag to retrieve it. He then threw the ball to Overbay, who tagged Bruce out after he rounded the bag toward second.
Hanrahan allowed back-to-back singles to Edgar Renteria and Paul Janish and threw a wild pitch to advance both runners. Ryan Hanigan then drew a walk to load the bases. Hanrahan fell behind 2-0 to Jay Bruce, but got him to fly out to center to end the ballgame.
Chris Resop told Root Sports, A crazy game, but in the end we won. It got a little scary in the end there, but hey, it’s part of the game.”
Hanrahan picked up his fifth save as the Pirates beat the Reds, 7-6. If the Bucs can defeat the Reds on Monday, it will mark their third road series win this season.