The Pittsburgh Pirates sailed into Cincinnati and took three out of four games from the division-leading Reds.
Kevin Correia pitched the second complete game of the series as the Bucs overwhelmed the Reds 9-3. Every Pirate’s starter except Andrew McCutchen got 2 hits as they outhit the home team 15-4. The score looks closer than it really was because Chris Heisey hit a 2-run homer in the bottom of the ninth.
Travis Wood did not have anything in the tank last night as he turned in his shortest starting appearance of his career at 3.1 innings. He was tagged with his second loss in three decisions. His line for the game is 8 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K.
The Reds have lost four of their last five, and 7 of 11 as they now hold a scant one-game lead over everyone in the Central Division with the exception of the bottom-feeding Houston Astros who are four games off the pace.
Pitcher Charlie Morton had broken the seal on the series with a 6-1, five hit masterpiece on Friday. Catcher Chris Snyder had a 3-4 night and Neil Walker smashed a 2-run jack. Garret Jones also blasted a solo shot as the Bucs showed few signs of the franchise which has had 18 consecutive losing seasons.
Game 2 was the only game of the four-game set in which the Reds resembled the reigning NL Central Division champs. Jonny Gomes went yard twice with 3 RBI and Ramon Hernandez hit a grand-slam and went 3 for 4 as the Reds routed the Pirates 11-2. 2010 MVP Joey Votto also had a 3-4 day with and RBI.
Mike Leake (2-0) posted his second quality start of the year, going 6 innings and allowing 4 hits and 2 runs. The relieving corps of Jordan Smith, Bill Bray and Nick Masset provided three inniOngs of 2-hit shutout ball in support of Leake’s strong effort.
The game was tied at 2 after four innings when the Reds erupted for 7 runs, anchored by Hernandez’ blast and Drew Stubbs‘ solo shot in the bottom of the fifth. The game was never in doubt after that.
On Sunday with the teams knotted at one-game each, the Reds’ Edinson Volquez began the same way he has in all of his starts thus far, a disastrous first inning. He surrendered a lead-off home run to McCutchen and followed it up by throwing a gopher ball to left-fielder Jose Tabata, marking his second game of the season serving up back to back home runs to start a game.
Gomes hit his 6th HR of the season in the second making it a 4-1 game after two. Miguel Cairo hit his first homer of the season off starter Jeff Karstens and the Reds rallied to take a 5-4 lead after five. Jay Bruce showed the ability he possesses in a 4-5 game with 2 HR. The game ended in heartbreak fashion for Cincy as Stubbs flew out on a 2-0 count with the bases loaded. The final score was 7-6 as Logan Ondrusek was saddled with his first loss of the year.
- Bruce got 6 hits, including 2 HR in the series raising his average to .268.
- Gomes had 3 hits, all HR as he is now 2nd in the NL with 6 HR. He is also tied for 3rd with 14 RBI, and leads the league with 15 walks.
- Hernandez finished the series with 5 hits in 8 trips including a grand slam lifting his average to .328.
- Second-baseman Brandon Phillips who was injured in the final game with the Padres missed the entire season.
- Snake-bitten reliever Masset appeared twice in the series without a catastrophe. His line for the series: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K. He was only used in non-critical situations and hopefully is finding his way back to his 2010 form.
- Jeremy Hermida was called up from Louisville to fill the spot on the roster vacated by Juan Francisco who was placed on the DL.
The Arizona Diamondbacks will come to town on Tuesday for a 3-game series and then the Reds will leave town to finish the week with a 3-game series in St. Louis.
About the Author
Written by Cliff Eastham
I am an avid sports fan, especially MLB and boxing. I also like NCAA Basketball and MMA. Baseball is my passion. I love the Cincinnati Reds and will argue with anyone about them. :-) I have been following them for over 50 years (yes my Social Security # is 2.) I live in West Virginia with my lovely wife Debbie and my equally lovely youngest daughter Holly. We have two other daughters and two sons, one grandson, and three granddaughters.