Pittsburgh Pirates: Late Inning Woes in Game Two Ruins Chance at Doubleheader Sweep of the Cincinnati Reds

On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Pirates split a doubleheader at PNC Park against the Cincinnati Reds
Aug 13, 2023; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates manager Derek Shelton (17) reacts to home
Aug 13, 2023; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates manager Derek Shelton (17) reacts to home / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 2

For much of game two the Pirates appeared to be on their way to sweeping the doubleheader. However, some late inning bullpen struggles led to the Bucs falling to the Reds 7-5. With the loss, the Pirates split the doubleheader, lost the series against the Reds, and fell to 63-55 on the season.

Big day for some Young Bucs

In addition to the important walk by Peguero and Triolo's home run in game one, there were plenty more contributions from the Young Bucs in game two. Henry Davis hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 1st inning to give the Bucs a 2-0 lead. Davis also hit a double, a single, and scored a run in the game.

Peguero continued to impact the day with a solo home run in the 2nd inning. The 4th home run of the season for Peguero made the score 3-2 Pirates at that point. Peguero also had a run scoring single in game two, while Rodriguez recorded a pair of base hits.

With the game tied at 5 in the 9th inning Colin Selby got the ball in just his third MLB appearance. You never would have known it was just MLB appearance number three for Selby, and you most certainly would not have known these Reds hit him around on Friday. Selby pitched a scoreless 9th inning, which included striking future Hall of Famer Joey Votto out looking to end the inning.

Bryan Reynolds homers twice

Few Pirate hitters have been as hot as Bryan Reynolds in recent weeks. His hot streak continued during Sunday's doubleheader. After going 0-for-4 in game one, Reynolds bounced back in a big way in game two.

Reynolds hit a pair of solo home runs in game two, giving him 17 on the season. The second home run of the game for Reynolds came in the 7th inning to extend the Pirate lead to 5-3. This home run also felt like a bit of karma.

After Reynolds was called out on strike on a clear ball in his previous at-bat, pitching coach Oscar Marin, manager Derek Shelton, and bench coach Don Kelly were all ejected the next half inning after the same pitch was called a ball with the Reds batting. So Reynolds hitting a home run in his next trip to the plate had to put a smile on a lot of faces in the Pirate dugout/clubhouse.

Oh, Reynolds also made this incredible catch to rob young Reds superstar Elly De La Cruz of extra bases in the 9th inning of a tie game.

Bullpen game for the pitching

Andre Jackson led the way for the Bucs in the game two bullpen game. Making his 1st MLB start, and 3rd appearance with teh Pirates, Jackson did an honorable job. He pitched 3.2 innings, allowing 3 runs on five hits, two walks, a home run, and five strikeouts. Jackson has now pitched 8.2 innings since joining the Pirates. Prior to today, he had retired all 15 batters he had faced.

Ryan Borucki relieved Jackson. The lefty got the final out of the 4th inning before pitching a scoreless 5th. Borucki retired all five batters he faced while recording a strikeout. Cody Bolton, the team's 27th man for the DH, pitched a scoreless 6th inning. Thomas Hatch pitched a scoreless 7th inning, but ran into trouble in the 8th.

Hatch allowed a double to Joey Votto to start the 8th inning. Then with one out, Davis failed to make a sliding catch in right field. Hatch threw a very poor two strike pitch, but the ball hit Davis in the glove and should have been an out. Instead, it was a run-scoring single to make the score 5-4.

Hatch was then lifted for Jose Hernandez who allowed a game-tying double. The double was of the ground rule variety, and had it not been for a wild pitch by Hernandez it would not have scored a run. The wild pitch proved extra costly after Hernandez recorded back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.

8th inning woes continue in bottom half of the inning

Davis singled to start the bottom of the 8th inning and Rodriguez walked. It looked like the Pirates would be on their way to making up for the snafus of the top half of the inning to retake the lead. Well, it's the Pirates. So that did not happen.

Peguero, yes the same red hot Peguero, came to the plate with two on and no one out. Peguero was asked to bunt. Why? Who knows! Even with two strikes Peguero was asked to bunt. Again, why? Who knows!

After Peguero struck out on a two strike bunt attempt, Rodriguez was picked off first base by Alex Diaz. The Rodriguez pick off was followed by Triolo drawing a walk. A walk that could have loaded the bases with just one out. Ke'Bryan Hayes then grounded out to end the inning.

Thank God they gave that out away bunting.

Reds win it in 10

Osvaldo Bido took the ball for the Pirates in the 10th. After recording a fly out to start the inning, Bido gave up a bloop single to right field to TJ Hopkins. What will likely be the luckiest hit Hopkins gets all season moved the automatic runner to second base. Bido then induced the ground ball he needed, but it took Peguero just far enough away from the second base bag at shortstop to prevent the Bucs from turning two. With the, the Reds had their first lead of the day at 6-5.

Daniel Duarte got the ball for the Reds in the bottom of the 10th inning. Jack Suwinski continue to be allergic to big hits by striking out to start the Pirate half of the 10th inning. Davis grounded out and Rodriguez to end the game.

Next up

The Pirates will start a three-game series with the highly disappointing New York Mets on Monday night. As of this writing, the Pirates have yet to officially announce a starting pitcher. Carlos Carrasco (6.42 ERA, 5.93 FIP) is set to start for the Mets. First pitch from Citi Field is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET.

Next. BC trade deadlines . Ranking Ben Cherington Trade Deadlines. dark