Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Cincinnati 3

W: J. McDonald (3-3)
L: J. Cueto (2-1)
S: J. Hanrahan (12)
BOXSCORE

POSITIVES
–Jay Bruce was 2-4, with two homers. Don’t look now, but Bruce’s OPS is 811 and rising.

–Chris Heisey got the start, and reached base twice from the leadoff spot, scoring one run. Brandon Phillips had a couple of hits.

–Bill Bray pitched another shutout inning, striking out two. His ERA is now down to 1.17.

NEGATIVES
–Johnny Cueto was not sharp. He went five innings, giving up three runs on five hits and three walks, striking out five.

–Jordan Smith gave up a run on two hits and a walk, in just two thirds of an inning.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–The Reds have lost two in a row, and the loss today drops Cincinnati back into second place in the NL Central, a half-game behind St. Louis. The Reds have still won 8 of 11. Things could be much, much worse.

–I guess if you are going to get swept by the Pirates, it might as well be in a two-game series. I guess.

–Cincinnati has now lost five of six games to the Pirates this year.

–Today was Jay Bruce’s 11th career multi-homer game.

–Ramon Hernandez’s modest 11-game hitting streak was snapped.

–The Reds finished up the homestand with a 5-2 record. Now the good guys hit the road to face the Cleveland Indians in the first interleague series of the year.