Home Pittsburgh Sports College Football Pirates offense explodes late, down Reds 10-7 for sweep

Pirates offense explodes late, down Reds 10-7 for sweep

Michael McKenry had his first career multi-homer game as the Pirates offense exploded in the seventh and eighth innings, coming back from a five-run deficit to beat the Reds 10-7 at PNC Park on Sunday afternoon. Starling Marte also homered for the Bucs and drove in two runs on the afternoon.

After hitting only three homers in 99 innings this season, the Pittsburgh Pirates exploded late in Sunday afternoon’s game against the Cincinnati Reds to blast three homers in the last two innings, en-route to a 10-7, come-from-behind victory. Michael McKenry contributed with two of those home runs, and Starling Marte added the third.

The entire Pirates’ offense contributed during a four run seventh and a six run eighth, amassing 15 total hits on the afternoon. McKenry, Marte, Travis Snider, Andrew McCutchen, Gaby Sanchez and Neil Walker all drove in runs for the Bucs. Marte, Snider, McCutchen and McKenry all had two hits a piece while Walker was on base three times.


[For things] To be able to add up and steamroll to finish the series off, it was very gratifying and a good feeling,” manager Clint Hurdle said after the game. “I think we’d all knew we’d hit some more. They say things are contagious in this game, and home runs were contagious late in this game today.”


Reds’ starter Mat Latos kept the Pirates in check for the first six innings, allowing a few scattered hits here and there but letting no damage be done. The Reds offense jumped out on Pirates’ rookie starter Phil Irwin in his major league debut. The Reds tapped Irwin for six hits and five runs in the first four innings, chasing him out of the game in the fifth. Despite the struggles, Irwin was optimistic about his start.


As much as I tried to stay calm and act like I was calm, nerves got the better of me early on,” Irwin said. “I finally settled down in the third inning, and I thought I did okay after that.”


Hurdle had the same sentiments toward Irwin.


I think he’ll look back on this, and it’ll be a very gratifying experience because we walked away with a ‘W’.”


Jeanmar Gomez, Jared Hughes and Mark Melancon all contributed out of the bullpen to keep the Reds offense at bay while the Pirates made their comeback.


Before the offensive explosion in the seventh for the Bucs, the Reds were in control right out of the gate. After Shin-Soo Choo singled to lead off the game, Zack Cozart and Joey Votto both drew walks against Irwin to load the bases. Brandon Phillips singled to left in the next at bat to bring in Choo and Cozart.


Irwin got Jay Bruce to ground into a double-play, and he got Todd Frazier to ground out to Pedro Alvarez at third to get out of the first inning jam.


The Reds added two more in the second inning. Chris Heisey singled and Ryan Hanigan walked to get two runners on for Cincinnati. Choo, contributing again offensively, smacked a double into left field to bring in both Heisey and Hanigan on the play. Hanigan scored due to an error by Marte in left—he couldn’t grasp the ball properly off the grass and Hanigan scored from first on the play.


The Reds added another in the fifth courtesy of Votto and Phillips. Votto drew a walk, stole second base and Phillips drove him in on the next pitch with another single, putting the Reds up 5-0.


After that, the Pirates controlled the rest of the game.


The offense came alive in the seventh when McKenry homered, finally putting the Pirates on the board. After a flyout by John McDonald and a ground out by Jose Tabata, Starling Marte got on base with a single.


Travis Snider blasted what looked like a home run into right, but it was ultimately ruled a double when a fan mistakenly dropped the home run ball. The umpires ruled it a double after a video review. Despite the call, Marte scored from first and brought the score to 5-2.


McCutchen belted a double to left in the next at bat to bring home Snider, and pinch-hitter Gaby Sanchez singled on the second pitch of hit at bat to bring home Cutch and bring the score to 5-4.


The Reds tried to add an insurance run in the eighth. Todd Frazier led off with a double, and he was brought home on a single by Chris Heisey, putting the score at 6-4 in favor of Cincinnati. But the Pirates had none of it.


The Pirates tapped reliever Jonathan Broxton for six more runs in the eighth. Pedro Alvarez drew a walk to start the inning, and Mike McKenry belted his second homer of the day on the next pitch to tie the game at 6-6.


After a ground out by John McDonald, Jose Tabata drew a walk, and he was brought home quickly in the very next at bat by Marte, who blasted a two-run homer down the left field line to put the Bucs up 8-6.


After a walk to pinch-hitting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez and a single plus stolen base by McCutchen, Gaby Sanchez brought in J. Sanchez with a sacrifice fly. Neil Walker singled up the middle in the next at bat to bring in Cutch and put the Pirates up 10-6.


Mark Melancon came on to pitch the ninth for the Bucs. Melancon gave up a leadoff homer to Joey Votto, a monster shot into center field to put the final score at 10-7. Melancon settled down and set down the rest of the Reds in order to end the game.


Neil Walker pushed me out of the dugout and told me to go tip my cap,” McKenry said on his afternoon success. “It was special. It’s good to have good teammates who want you to get recognized, and it’s great to have the fans to be so supportive and cheer that hard for you. A guy in my position, you just don’t expect it.”


It’s one of those things you can’t describe unless you go through it,” he said. “I got a curtain call today, and I’m blessed to be a part of this.”

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