The Pittsburgh Pirates bounced back from their first loss of the season on Wednesday night to defeat the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night
On Thursday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Cincinnati Reds 5-2. With the win, the Bucs are now 5-1 on the season. Leading the Pirates to victory was left-handed pitcher Steven Brault.
After starting the season in the bullpen, Brault moved to the starting rotation due to Joe Musgrove being placed on the disabled list with a muscle strain. And in his first start of the season, Brault impressed.
After pitching 3 scoreless innings in relief to help the Pittsburgh Pirates win on Opening Day, Steven Brault continued to turn heads on Thursday night. With his performance, Brault earned the right to make more starts for the Pirates.
While Brault did walk 4 batters in 5 innings of work on Thursday night, he was able to limit the Reds to just a single run and 3 hits. Brault also struck out 4 batters, which included twice striking out future Hall of Famer Joey Votto with men on base.
Brault threw a sneaky explosive fastball on Thursday night and placed his off-speed pitches well. If Brault continues to pitch this way he will continue to have success in the Pirate rotation.
The Pirate offense was led by the usual cast of characters in Thursday’s victory.
With the Bucs trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the 3rd inning, Jordy Mercer led off with a double. He would later score on a Gregory Polanco sacrifice fly to tie the game. Polanco would then launch a 2-run home run to center field in the bottom of the 5th inning to make the score 3-1 Pirates.
Later in the bottom of the 5th inning, Corey Dickerson would triple home Josh Bell. Dickerson would then score when Francisco Cervelli reached on a fielding error by Jose Peraza. This gave the Bucs a 5-1 lead after 5 innings of play.
After taking their fair share of lumps through the first five games of the season, the Pirate bullpen flashed its true potential on Thursday night. Edgar Santana, Michael Feliz, George Kontos, and Felipe Rivero would pitch in relief of Brault.
These four relievers combined to allow just a pair of hits, a single run, and they struck out 3 in 4 strong innings of work. Hopefully, this was the start of the Pirate bullpen getting back on track. With the win, the Pirates are now 5-1 for the first time since 2003.
Next up for the Pirates is the second game of their four-game series against the Reds. This game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on Friday and will feature a pitching matchup of Trevor Williams and Luis Castillo.