Today’s Game: The Pirates didn’t get a ball out of the infield in the first against Luis Castillo; the Reds Tyler Naquin homered on the first pitch Chad Kuhl served. That was followed by a two-base misthrow by Wilmer Difo and a three walks. A sac fly and chalk-kissing double made it 5-0. The Pirates responded with a 1-2-3 second. Kuhl took a deep breath, started over and struck out the side. Dustin Fowler led off the third with a infield rap but never reached second. Chad issued a walk, bopped a batter (he drilled Jonathan India in the helmet; Kuhl looked more shaken than India) and fanned two in a scoreless frame. Difo opened the fourth with a two-bagger. He was thrown out at home on Phil Evan’s one-out rap to right on a questionable wave from Joey Cora (one out, down by five), resulting in another zero. Kuhl survived another free pass.
|Chad had a rough start again – photo 2021 Pirates|
The Pirates got a walk in the fifth; Nick Castellanos homered off Chris Stratton. A single, double, single combo plated two more Redlegs to make it 8-0. The Pirates managed a Difo single in the sixth while Strat tossed a quiet inning. The Buccos went three up, three down in the seventh. Michael Feliz gave up another tally via a two-out single followed by a three-bagger. Lucas Sims got the eighth and little diff: three batters, two K. David Bednar took the ball and Tyler Stephenson went deep off him; Aristides Aquino did the same a pitch later to pile it up to 11-0. Amir Garrett gave up a leadoff double to the smokin’ Wilmer Difo in the ninth. A walk and knock loaded the sacks for Eric Gonzalez, who banged one out of the yard. It was his 10th career dinger and first grand slam. Pittsburgh returned to SOP after that with a pop and two whiffs to go down 11-4.
Nothin’ like heading into the Home Opener on a five-game losing streak and the wrong end of 14-1 and 11-4 tallies. Governor Wolfe may not be the only reason that PNC Park will be at 50% capacity.
- Wilmer Difo had three hits, including two doubles, and Phil Evans had two raps. Evans also threw out two runners from left, one unassisted.
- Odd box score stat: the Pirates stranded more runners (4) than Cincy (3). Pretty efficient bat work for the clubs to plate 15 guys and only leave seven on base.
- The Reds hit three homers on the first pitch. Cincy hit eight homers and scored 30 runs in the three game set.
Tomorrow’s Game: The Pirates Home Opening Day starts at 1:35 v the Cubs with Tyler Anderson on the bump against Jake Arrieta. It’ll be aired on AT&T SportsNet and MLB Network (out of market), with radio on 93.7 The Fan/100.1 FM/1020 KDKA AM.
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