Home Pittsburgh Sports College Football Reds end skid with 4-3 win over Pirates on Peraza’s sac fly

Reds end skid with 4-3 win over Pirates on Peraza’s sac fly

Mental miscues and men left on base loomed large as the Pittsburgh Pirates stranded the bases loaded in the ninth inning in a frustrating 4-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night at PNC Park.

Josh Harrison, who went 2-for-4 with an early RBI double, scored on Andrew McCutchen’s sacrifice fly in to tie the game in the eighth inning. But Tony Watson, whose recent inconsistencies have cost the Pirates mightily, surrendered a single to Eugenio Suarez, who advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and a single before scoring on a sacrifice fly to Jose Peraza.

Down 4-3 in the ninth inning, Reds reliever Rasiel Iglesias, in his second inning of work, walked David Freese and hit Francisco Cervelli with a pitch. After Jordy Mercer sacrifice bunted and Matt Joyce was intentionally walked, Harrison popped out on the first pitch and pinch hitter Adam Frazier hit a lazy fly to left field to end the game.

Manager Clint Hurdle said that the Pirates did not do a good job tonight of capitalizing on their opportunities.

“You don’t want to give up outs on the bases,” Hurdle said. “You’d like to have the opportunity to string some things together. You look at the guys who grounded into double plays tonight, and those are the guys who you’re looking at to do something.”

Pittsburgh collected ten hits, walked four times, and were hit by three pitches during Friday night’s game, but went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and had rallies stifled by four double plays and two pickoffs by Reds starter Tim Adleman.

Gregory Polanco belted a ground rule double to lead off the second inning, but was goaded into taking a big lead by savvy second baseman Brandon Phillips and was picked off at second. In the sixth inning, Adleman caught Kang lunging off of first after the third baseman had just drawn a walk.

“When you’re an aggressive base running team, you’re going to have times like that,” Harrison said. “Lately it just seems like it’s been a whole lot of them.”

Adleman, making just his ninth career start, allowed just two runs through six innings despite the Pirates collecting seven hits and not striking out once. But two crucial double plays and the aforementioned pickoffs prevented the Bucs from compiling a big inning.

For as effective as Adleman was on the mound, he arguably had a bigger impact with his bat. In his first at-bat, the rookie pitcher, who entered the game 1-for-12 in his brief major league career, roped a double to the right-center field gap. Adleman scored three batters later when Joey Votto singled to center to give the Reds a 1-0 lead in the third inning.

After the Pirates tied the game in the bottom of the third, Pirates starter Steven Brault allowed a two-out double to Eugenio Suarez in the top of the fourth and intentionally walked catcher Ramon Cabrera to bring up Adleman. The 28-year old hurler responded with a single to right and notched his first career RBI.

“First at-bat, I just kind of babied it and it couldn’t have been any worse,” Brault said. “The second at-bat, he just battled. I threw a decent pitch, but he put a good swing on it.”

Mistakes to the pitcher aside, Brault said that Friday night’s start was his easily best as a Pirate. The rookie lefty allowed two runs on five hits, two walks, and a hit by pitch. Brault struck out two.

In the sixth inning, Pirates reliever Jared Hughes hung a breaking ball that Phillips walloped into the left field bleachers. The solo shot, Phillips’ tenth of the season, broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Reds a lead.

“I shook off Cervelli to go to the slider and I hung the heck out of it,” Hughes said. “It was a bad pitch and Phillips did what he should have with it.”

In his tenth season with rival Cincinnati, Phillips has frequently terrorized Pirates pitching. In 660 career at-bats against Pittsburgh, Phillips is hitting .306 with 26 home runs and 106 RBIs. Phillips’ 201 career hits against Pittsburgh are the most he has against any team.

Trade deadline acquisition Drew Hutchison will make his Pirates debut on Saturday night at 7:05 when he takes on Reds righty Robert Stephenson (2-1, 3.12 ERA).

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