Today’s Game: Phil Evans and Colin Moran got the Bucs off on the good foot with first-inning solo blasts off Jose De Leon. JT Brubaker gave up a single, then struck out the next pair of Reds for a quiet start. The bottom of the Pirates order went down without a peep in the second. A one-out walk and botched throw by Phil Evans on a potential DP hopper (ruled a fielder’s choice) put JT in a bind, and it cost when De Leon’s grounder ticked off Adam Frazier’s glove for a two-out RBI knock; Bucco D this year, sheesh. A Bru single and following error put Pittsburgh in business in the third, but the next three Bucs fanned, two looking. Bru walked a pair of Redlegs, running his pitch count to 64. Pittsburgh went down 1-2-3 in the fourth on just five pitches. A single and two-out walk (after being ahead 1-2) left Reds dancing on the bases again, but no damage resulted as Cincy has stranded seven runners so far. After two whiffs in the fifth, Fraze drew a walk before the side struck out. Luis Oviedo got the call, and Mike Moustakas’ dinger tied the game with two gone.
|Luis Oviedo looks like a keeper – image AT&T SportsNet|
A sixth-inning leadoff walk ended De Leon’s night and Cionel Perez took the ball. Two strikeouts and a caught stealing later (a Polanco lefty-on-lefty hit-and-run gone embarrassingly bad), the zeroes continued to pile up. Luis stayed on and fanned the side. Sean Doolittle pushed off the rubber in the seventh and punched out a pair around Jake Stalling’s at ‘em liner to left. Sam Howard answered the bell and was banged for a Nick Castellanos homer around a couple of K and the Reds were up for the first time at 3-2. Lucas Sims strolled in for the eighth and spun a clean frame. Michael Feliz surrendered a leadoff two-bagger, wild pitch, walk and single to allow an insurance run. Another two-out rap put the Queen City up by three. Amir Garrett was taken deep by B-Rey to start the ninth. Redbeard singled and two outs later Jake walked to keep the Bucco heart beating for Kevin Newman, who bounced out to close the book.
Kinda typical rebuild start: enough pieces to stay competitive but still too many holes to dodge. Right now, they could really use an outfielder not named Reynolds to step up and a starter to get them into the sixth or seventh inning.
- Colin Moran had two hits tonight and is batting .357 in the early slog, though six whiffs in 17 PAs is a little worrisome. The Bucs had just five hits and fanned 15 times.
- Pirates starters have worked just 15 innings in the first four games. Tyler Anderson is the only one to get through five frames.
- Pitchers JT Brubaker & Jose De Leon both banged out their first MLB hits tonight.
- The Pirates will not increase ticket sales for April even with the new 50% allowance and are still considering whether or not to jump attendance for May games.
Tomorrow’s Game: The middle match begins at 6:40 and will be on AT&T SportsNet PIT2 & 93.7 The Fan. RHP Trevor Cahill will take on LHP Wade Miley.
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