Pittsburgh Pirates Finally Win Series Against Cincinnati Reds

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

It only took five months, but the Pittsburgh Pirates have finally won a series against the lowly Cincinnati Reds

The Pittsburgh Pirates were 5-2 victors over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Pirates secured their first series victory of the season over the Reds. This win improved the Pirates to just 4-8 on the season against the Reds.

After Sunday’s victory the Pittsburgh Pirates are now 63-68 overall this season. This puts them seven games out of first place in the National League Central. At this point, the division is a lost cause but it would still be great to see the Pirates finish the season strong.

Jameson Taillon started for the Pirates on Sunday. His past six starts Taillon had struggled immensely. While he danced through the rain drops on Sunday afternoon, he did an excellent job of limiting damage.

The Reds got on the board first in the bottom of the 2nd inning.

Scooter Gennett doubled to start the inning, advanced to third on a throwing error by Pirate catcher Elias Diaz, and then Jose Peraza walked to put runners on the corners with no one out. A Scott Schebler sacrifice fly then scored Gennett and gave the Reds a 1-0 lead.

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Adam Frazier would ground into an inning ending double play with two on and just one out in the top of the 3rd inning. On the play, Frazier joined the Pittsburgh Pirates M.A.S.H. unit when he exited the game with a leg injury.

Billy Hamilton singled to start the bottom of the 3rd inning for the Reds. Then a Zack Cozart single and a Joey Votto walk loaded the bases with no one out. Ray Searage then made a visit to the mound and worked his magic with Jameson Taillon.

Jamo would then strike out Adam Duvall looking, he got Scooter Gennett to pop out to Elias Diaz in foul territory, and Jose Peraza flew out to center field. It was excellent work by Jamo to work out of a bases loaded with no one out jam without allowing a run.

In the top of the 4th inning the Pittsburgh Pirates then took their first lead of the game.

Josh Bell walked with one out and Josh Harrison was hit by a pitch. Then, John Jaso doubled to score both Bell and Harrison giving the Pirates a 2-1 lead. After Sean Rodriguez walked, Elias Diaz flew out and Taillon struck out to end the inning.

Starling Marte singled to start the top of the 5th inning and then scored on a two-out singled by Andrew McCutchen. This made the score 3-1 Pirates.

Jameson Taillon started the top of the 5th inning for the Pirates. This was a move that Clint Hurdle should not have made and it almost came back to bite the Pirates.

After Zack Cozart singled and Joey Votto walked, Taillon was lifted for A.J. Schugel. Schugel would strike out Adam Duvall, however, it came on a wild pitch that allowed Cozart and Votto to advance. Cozart then scored on a Scooter Gennett ground out that made the score 3-2 Pirates.

In 4+ innings pitched on Sunday Taillon allowed a pair of runs, one of which was unearned, on 5 hits, 4 walks, and 4 strikeouts. Joey Votto played a large role in spoiling Taillon’s day as he drew a trio of walks and saw 31 of the 108 pitches thrown by Taillon in the process.

After A.J. Schugel pitched a scoreless bottom of the 6th inning, the much maligned Daniel Hudson pitched the bottom of the 7th inning. Hudson has had a miserable season, but he did a great job on Sunday. He took over on the mound with the Pirates leading 3-2, the top of the Cincinnati lineup due up, and Hudson posted a zero.

After Juan Nicasio fired a 1-2-3 bottom of the 8th inning for the Pirates, the Bucs added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the 9th inning. Elias Diaz singled off Raisel Iglesias and then David Freese doubled to put runners on second and third with no one out. Starling Marte then picked up his third hit of the night to score both Diaz and Freese, making the score 5-2 Pirates.

Felipe Rivero took over for the Pirates in the bottom of the 9th inning. Things did not come easily for Rivero on Sunday, but, in the end, he got the job done.

With one out, pinch-hiter Patrick Kivlehan singled. Then with two outs, Zack Cozart hit what should have been a game ending ground ball to shortstop Sean Rodriguez. However, a throwing error by Rodriguez allowed Cozart to reach base.

Felipe Rivero then walked Joey Votto to load the bases with two outs. However, the sixth pitch of the at bat, which was called ball three, should have been strike three ending both the at bat and the game. Rivero would bounce back though by getting Adam Duvall to ground out to end the game.

Next: What has caused Ivan Nova's struggles?

Next up for the Pittsburgh Pirates is a three-game series at Wrigley Field against the first place Chicago Cubs. The first game of the series is scheduled for 8:05 on Monday night. Trevor Williams will start for the Pirates, while Mike Montgomery gets the ball for the Cubs.