The Reds blew a 5-0 lead to the woeful Pittsburgh Pirates as Cincinnati’s struggles over the final six weeks of the season continued in an 8-6 loss.
|Cincinnati Reds (82-79)
|Pittsburgh Pirates (61-100)
|W: Mears (1-0) L: Santillan (1-3) SV: Stratton (8)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread
It didn’t take long for the Reds offense to get going on Saturday, and they got a little help from the Pirates, too. Tyler Stephenson lined a single into right field, but Yoshi Tsutsugo couldn’t come up with it and it bounced right under his glove and Stephenson raced to third. Nick Castellanos followed with a sacrifice fly – his 98th RBI of the season – to put Cincinnati up 1-0.
In the 3rd inning the Reds got back to it. Delino DeShields singled to lead off the inning, moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Mahle, and then scored on a single by Max Schrock to extend the lead to 2-0. In the following inning Joey Votto had a 1-out walk and scored on the 31st homer of the year from Eugenio Suárez that landed in the bushes in center. In the 5th inning it was Nick Castellanos doing some damage again, this time with a solo homer – his 34th of the year and pushing his RBI total to 99 – to make it 5-0.
After watching their 5-0 lead turn into a 6-5 deficit in the 5th inning, the Reds got a pair of doubles from rookies TJ Friedl and Tyler Stephenson in the top of the 6th to tie the game back up. After Pittsburgh grabbed the lead right back, the Reds went 1-2-3 in the 7th and while Delino DeShields would walk in the 8th he was quickly erased on an inning-ending double play.
Trailing 8-6 in the top of the 9th, the Reds sent 1-2-3 of their order up. Max Schrock grounded out to second base. Tyler Stephenson was called out on a checked swing for the second out. Nick Castellanos would wrap things up with a ground out to second to end the game.
Tyler Mahle was cruising through the first four innings of the game. He entered the bottom of the 5th inning with a 5-0 lead. But the wheels absolutely fell off as he allowed three straight singles before a triple and another single. After a strikeout of Yoshi Tsutsugo he gave up another single before David Bell had seen enough and called on Justin Wilson to try and shut the rally down. But when Mahle left the game he had already given up four earned runs in the inning and was still responsible for the two men on the bases. Both runners scored after a double by Michael Chavis and the 5-0 lead was gone and the Reds were trailing 6-5 in the blink of an eye. Ben Gamel then singled on a bunt and stole second base to put two men in scoring position. It wouldn’t matter as Wilson then walked Jacob Stallings to load the bases. The inning came to a merciful ending when Wilson struck out Oneil Cruz.
Tony Santillan came on for the bottom of the 6th inning in a 6-6 game after Cincinnati was able to tie things up in the top half of the frame. The inning started well as he recorded two quick outs, but he hit Yoshi Tsutsugo and then gave up a triple to Bryan Reynolds as the Pirates took the lead right back from the Reds.
Luis Cessa came out for the 7th inning and gave up a leadoff single. A nice play from Joey Votto where he short-hopped a grounder and tagged first before firing to Jose Barrero covering second who made a nice tag to get a force out led to two quick outs. But then Jacob Stallings, Oneil Cruz, and Hoy Park followed up with singles to load the bases. Cessa then walked Cole Tucker to bring in the Pirates 8th run of the night. A ground out back to Cessa would end the inning, but Pittsburgh extended their lead.
Like the pitchers before him, Jeff Hoffman struggled to keep runners off of the bases as he allowed a hit and walked two batters – though one was intentional – in his inning of work. Unlike the previous few pitchers, his inning was scoreless as he gave the Reds one final opportunity to get at least two runs to tie the game up int he top of the 9th. They didn’t as their late-season woes against the Pirates continued.
One more game.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs Pittsburgh Pirates
Sunday October 3rd, 3:05pm ET
Reiver Sanmartin (1-0, 1.59 ERA) vs. TBA