In baseball jargon, an insurance run is one that is scored in the late innings when the leading team is only ahead by a few runs. The new run(s) insure a margin of safety against a rally. Reds fans are going to need a new term, at least for a while. As we’ve already seen this year, the Reds relief corps is going to provide more ups and downs than Kings Island and those extra runs are necessities, not insurance. Today, Eugenio Suarez’s 2-run blast in the seventh inning expanded the Reds lead from two to four runs. Two necessity runs.Hey, the Reds are one grooved curveball by J.J. Hoover away from being undefeated and alone in first place. I think we’ll all take a 4-1 start.

Reds 5 • Pirates 1  |  FanGraphs  |  That was easy

Iggy Stardust Raisel Iglesias had a pretty good start, getting through 5.2 innings. He struck out five and walked two. Jeff Brantley said early in the game the ball was really moving off Iglesias’ hand. Iglesias spent a good part of the game working out of trouble. This wasn’t as good of a start as his first one (mandatory Phillies caveat), but it was still a positive step forward in Iglesias’ production.

Cole-cocked The Reds didn’t knock out Pirate starter Gerrit Cole today like they did last June. That said, Cole once again didn’t make it through five innings, when Manager Clint Hurdle pulled his ace after 100 pitches. The Reds worked Cole for three walks and only struck out four times. It continued an impressive string of success for the Reds against one of the best pitchers in the National League. 

https://twitter.com/jluckhaupt/status/718875112687214593

Fast Start Billy Hamilton led off the first by slashing an opposite field double. After singles by Eugenio Suarez, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, the Reds had struck for two runs off Cole in the first. Those runs would prove to be sufficient for the win.

Suarez Power Explosion Eugenio Suarez hit his third home run of the year, knocking in Billy Hamilton who had reached on a fielder’s choice. Suarez’s blast went 420 feet to left center. Suarez has made a lot of great contact so far this season. Still early, but promising.

Russian Roulette It’s going to be this way for a while for the bullpen. Blake Wood got a crucial out to shut down the Pirates rally in the sixth, but then gave up a walk and a double to start the seventh. He worked out of the jam in part due to a horrible base running mistake by John Jaso and a smart play by Joey Votto. Blake struck out David Freese to end the seventh. Caleb Cotham and J.J. Hoover each pitched uneventful innings to close out the game.

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