A 1-2-3 first inning for Luis Castillo turned things over to the Cincinnati Reds offense that saw Tyler Naquin hit yet another home run, leading off the bottom of the inning and setting the tone for a series sweep over the Pittsburgh Pirates. And how sweep it was.
|Pittsburgh Pirates (1-5)
|Cincinnati Reds (5-1)
|W: Castillo (1-1) L: Kuhl (0-1)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Tyler Naquin. His statue is being sculpted right now. Stepping in for Jesse Winker, Naquin has done nothing but absolutely rake and he led off the bottom of the 1st inning with a home run – his 4th of the season – to put the Reds up 1-0. Nick Castellanos reached on an error, then back-to-back walks to Joey Votto and Mike Moustakas loaded the bases with no outs. Nick Senzel walked, Jonathan India had a sacrifice fly, and then Kyle Farmer doubled in two runs and it was 5-0 before the Pirates knew what happened.
In a terrifying moment in the bottom of the 3rd inning, Jonathan India took a 95 MPH fastball from Chad Kuhl off of his helmet. He wasn’t down for long and remained in the game.
Fast forwarding to the 6th inning and Nick Castellanos led off with home run – his 4th of the year. Joey Votto followed with a single, Nick Senzel doubled and put runners on 2nd and 3rd. That’s when Mr. RBI, Jonathan India came to the plate and drove in both of them, but was thrown out by a matter of millimeters trying to stretch the hit into a double. That made it 8-0. In the 7th inning the Reds got some more with two outs as Mike Moustakas singled and scored when Nick Senzel tripled, making it 9-0.
Is that all? No. No it was not. Tyler Stephenson and Aristides Aquino went back-to-back with solo home runs with one out in the 8th inning and extended the lead to 11-0.
After a disastrous start on Opening Day, Luis Castillo returned to form against the Pirates this afternoon. A quick and easy 1-2-3 1st inning helped set the tone. He didn’t run into trouble until the 4th inning. After Wilmer Difo doubled, Phillip Evans hit one down the right field line that Nick Castellanos slid for to try and catch, but had it deflect off of his glove. Castellanos jumped up, grabbed the ball and fired it to Jonathan India who turned and fired it home to nail Difo at the plate. A fly out by Erik Gonzalez in the next at-bat ended the inning and any threat the Pirates had mounting.
Over the next three innings Luis Castillo allowed just a walk and a single to Pittsburgh. He was finished after 7.0 innings of shutout baseball where he allowed four hits, a walk, and struck out five batters on 81 pitches.
Lucas Sims took over to start the 8th inning. He picked up right where Castillo left off, striking out the first two hitters he faced before an easy ground out to Jonathan India ended the inning.
Amir Garrett took over for the 9th inning and things didn’t go as smoothly as he likely would have hoped. Wilmer Difo doubled to lead off the inning and Colin Moran walked to put two men on to start the inning. A single followed to load the bases. Erik Gonzalez then hit a grand slam into the sundeck in right field to make it 11-4. That warranted a visit from Derek Johnson. The lefty reliever induced a ground out to the next batter, followed up with two strikeouts to end the game and seal the sweep of the Pirates.
Key Moment of the Game
It felt like it was the key moment at the time, even though it was in the 1st inning and was just a solo home run, but Tyler Naquin’s leadoff homer set the tone for what was going to come. And a whole lot came from that point forward.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs Arizona Diamondbacks
Friday April 9th, 9:40pm ET
Tyler Mahle vs TBA