In a must-win game the Cincinnati Reds got out to a horrendous start. The Pirates grabbed an early 5-0 lead, but Cincinnati went on a 9-0 run from there with Joey Votto crushing his 32nd and 33rd homers of the season along the way as the Reds pulled off the come from behind win.
|Pittsburgh Pirates (56-94)||5||8||0|
|Cincinnati Reds (78-73)||9||11||0|
|W: Cessa (5-2) L: Ponce (0-5)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Cincinnati was trailing 2-0 before they even came to the plate. And it was 5-0 after the top of the 3rd inning and the Reds only had a Joey Votto walk to show for it. In the bottom of the 3rd things were going in the same direction as the first two batters of the inning were retired. But Jonathan India got a rally started with a 2-out walk. Kyle Farmer followed up with a single to put two men on for Nick Castellanos, and he drove both runners in with a double to the wall in center to put the Reds on the board. Joey Votto followed with a 2-run homer to cut the lead to 5-4.
Two innings later it was Joey Votto once again going yard to tie the game up. Eugenio Suárez followed with a solo homer of his own to put the Reds ahead 6-5. Another two innings later Kyle Farmer planted a ball out in the seats in left field to make it 7-5 and give Cincinnati a little cushion to work with.
The Reds kept moving forward after the Farmer homer as Nick Castellanos singled and Joey Votto and TJ Friedl both walked to load the bases with two outs for Delino DeShields. A pitching change didn’t make a difference as DeShields also walked to extend the Reds lead to 8-5. Tucker Barnhart would fly out to center to end the inning, but picking up additional runs was huge.
Cincinnati wasn’t done playing add on, though they got a little bit of help from the Pirates. Jonathan India was hit by a pitch with two outs in the 8th inning. That brought Nick Castellanos to the plate and he appeared to ground out, but the play was null and void as a balk was called on the pitch, which moved India up to second and gave Castellanos another chance to swing the bat and three pitches later he drove in India with an RBI single to make it 9-5.
Things continued to be a struggle of late for Vladimir Gutierrez. Yoshi Tsutsugo and Bryan Reynolds both connected on solo home runs in the top of the 1st inning to put the Pirates up 2-0 early. in the 3rd inning Pittsburgh played add on with four hits and a walk to bring in three more runs and extend their lead to 5-0.
After the Reds scored four runs in the bottom of the 3rd, Vladimir Gutierrez headed back out to the mound for the 4th inning. He retired Hoy Park to begin the inning, but pinch hitter Anthony Alford singled for the pitcher and that led to a pitching change for Cincinnati. Luis Cessa came on and retired the next five hitters in a row for the Pirates to keep the game at 5-4.
With Cincinnati taking a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the 5th it was time to bring Lucas Sims into the game and he held the score right there with a perfect inning that featured two strikeouts. Michael Lorenzen took over for the Reds in the 7th and 8th inning and the Pirates did absolutely nothing against him but walk back to the dugout as he held onto the lead.
Mychal Givens came out to try and lock down a win in the 9th holding a 9-5 lead. Ben Gamel led off with a double for the Pirates. After a routine ground out by Kevin Newman, Joey Votto made a diving stop down the first base line and tossed to Givens at first for the second out of the inning – saving a run in the process.
Notes Worth Noting
The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwuakee Brewers, so the Reds remain 3.0 games behind the Cardinals for the final playoff spot.
Jonathan India was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the 8th inning. It was the 21st time he was hit by a pitch this season, setting a new rookie record for the Reds. He had been tied with Hall of Famer Frank Robinson prior to then.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Pittsburgh Pirates vs Cincinnati Reds
Tuesday September 20th, 6:40pm ET
Tyler Mahle (12-5, 3.59 ERA) vs Mitch Keller (4-11, 6.14 ERA)