The Cincinnati Reds offense didn’t get much done, but the one run they scored was more than the Pirates did on Thursday afternoon as Cincinnati avoided the sweep by shutting out Pittsburgh 1-0 behind another strong road start from Tyler Mahle.
|Cincinnati Reds (76-71)
|Pittsburgh Pirates (54-92)
|W: Mahle (12-5) L: Ponce (0-4) SV: Givens (8)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Cincinnati had a few baserunners through the first six innings of the game, but just like the Pirates, came up empty. But in the 7th inning the Reds finally pushed a run across the plate. Tyler Stephenson doubled off of the right field wall and was pinch-run for by Delino DeShields. Kyle Farmer followed up with a walk. Shogo Akiyama appeared to get some help as his sacrifice bunt appeared to be rolling foul but was picked up in fair territory and moved both runners up a base. With Tyler Mahle due up, the Reds went to Asdrúbal Cabrera and while he’s still searching for his 1st hit as a Red, he did pick up the RBI on a sacrifice fly and give Cincinnati a 1-0 lead.
In the 8th inning Joey Votto smacked a 2-out double. With a lefty on the mound and Mike Moustakas coming up, David Bell opted to let Moustakas hit for himself instead of go to Eugenio Suárez – who has been hitting better of late – or Jose Barrero to get a better match up and possibly better defense at third for the rest of the game. Moustakas grounded out to end the inning. Cincinnati then went 1-2-3 in the top of the 9th, clinging to a 1-0 lead and hoping the bullpen could get three more outs.
Tyler Mahle made a road start and if you’ve been following along this season you know what that means: Dominance. While Mahle did have to work around a few baserunners in the game, none of them came across the plate as he fired off 6.0 shutout innings while allowing five hits and a walk. He also struck out six batters while throwing 95 pitches.
After Mahle was pinch-hit for in the top of the 7th inning and the Reds grabbed a 1-0 lead, Lucas Sims entered the game and threw a shutout frame with two strikeouts to hold the lead. Michael Lorenzen tossed a perfect 8th inning with two strikeouts to keep a 1-0 Reds lead.
That brought on Mychal Givens for the save attempt in the bottom of the 9th. He struck out Colin Moran to get things started, but walked Ben Gamel to put the tying run on base. Givens then walked Kevin Newman, too, and pitching coach Derek Johnson made a trip to the mound to discuss things. One pitch later a fly out to center moved Gamel to third base, but also made for the second out of the inning. Hoy Park came to the plate and jumped ahead 3-0 on Givens before back-to-back strikes made it a full count – but on that 5th pitch Kevin Newman stole 2nd base to put the winning run in scoring position. Tucker Barnhart headed to the mound for a quick chat. After a foul ball, Givens fired a 98 MPH fastball by Park to end the game.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Los Angeles Dodgers vs Cincinnati Reds
Friday September 17th, 7:10pm ET
Walker Buehler (14-3, 2.32 ERA) vs Luis Castillo (7-15, 4.24 ERA)