Four Pittsburgh Pirates runs in the top of the first inning was a deficit the Cincinnati Reds were not able to overcome in an 8-5 Pittsburgh victory before 21,448 at Great American Ball Park.

Final R H E
Pittsburgh Pirates (11-15) 8 13 0
Cincinnati Reds  (4-23)
5 7 0
W: Hembree (2-0) L: Moreta (0-1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

After a stirring victory in the first game of today’s day-night doubleheader, the Reds reverted to previous form in the nightcap. Cincinnati was never able to catch the Pirates after the visiting team scored four in the top of the first. Seven Cincinnati pitchers allowed eight runs, and with the level of the position-player talent they currently have, that is just not going to get the job done. This team will not be able to win without lights-out pitching, as they got in game one today.

The Offense

In the bottom of the first, after Pittsburgh had taken a 4-0 lead, Tyler Naquin was hit by a pitch from Mitch Keller, then Brandon Drury did some damage:

Mike Moustakas followed with a single to centerfield to score Drury to bring the home team within 4-2.

After Pittsburgh scored three in the top of the fourth to take a 7-2 lead, Drury again struck to close the gap to 7-5:

Cincinnati missed a big chance to keep chipping away in the seventh. After the first two batters reached base, neither scored, which felt like a big momentum shift.

Drury batted 3-for-4 with four RBI. He leads the team in hits (20), doubles (7, tied with Kyle Farmer), homers (5), RBI (15), and slugging (.575). He raised his batting average to .274 and his OPS to .900. It’s still early, but Drury looks like a player who might be in the lineup every day, even once all of the injured and sick players return.

Moustakas’ two hits raised his average to .246.

The Pitching

Dauri Moreta got the call as the opener, and it didn’t go well. In 10 pitches, he struck out leadoff hitter Ben Gamel, served up a solo homer to Bryan Reynolds, then a double to Ke’Bryan Hayes. Manager David Bell then removed Moreta in favor of lefthander Phillip Diehl, with three straight lefthanded batters coming up next for the visitors. It didn’t work. After Daniel Vogelbach lined out to center, Yoshi Tsutsugo homered for a 3-0 Pittsburgh lead, and Diego Castillo did the same for a 4-0 Pirates lead after the first half-inning.

Robert Dugger, in his first Reds appearance, resembled the several Class AAAA pitchers who have toed the rubber for the team to date. Over his first couple of innings he was able to get out of jams primarily due to the at-em ball, but in his third inning (and second time through the order), the Pirates unloaded for a run-scoring double and a two-run bomb to right by Ben Gamel.

Alexis Diaz was atypically wild in the fifth but held Pittsburgh scoreless. Tony Santillan went 1 2/3 and allowed a seventh-inning run to put the visitors ahead 8-5. Jeff Hoffman and Jared Solomon, making his major league debut, finished things up. Solomon, after some understandable jitters while walking the first hitter he faced, looked impressive in striking out two and keeping the Pirates off the board.

Reds pitchers threw 199 pitches in the game.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds

Sunday, May 8, 1:40 p.m. ET

Zach Thompson (0-3, 10.05 ERA) vs. Tyler Mahle (1-4, 7.01 ERA)

18 Responses

  1. JayTheRed

    They won!!! Woah I was beginning to wonder if it was going to happen again. Ok ok, I watched part of the 2nd game a lot of missed chances but at least the team looked like it had a little fight in it today.

  2. Joe P.

    Still looking for their first 2 game winning streak!

  3. steelerfan

    Out of that list of pitchers, I recognized Diaz, Santillan, and Hoffman. I don’t follow as closely as I once did (and less all the time now) but this feels like Major League…

  4. TR

    Half-full but not a bad crowd. A series win would go well today. Votto, India, Senzel, Castillo and Minor are needed back from the IL.

    • Redsvol

      Amen to that. If we don’t get some guys back from the IL soon it’s going to be a lost season. So many of them need development that they can only get at the major league level. Barerro, India, lodolo, Greene, and even some of the others not currently on the 40 man need to play and play a lot this year.

      And what’s the deal with solano and minor. Get up here and start playing already. I’ve seen football players come back from knee injuries quicker than those 2.

      • Kevin H

        What football players and what was the knee injury?

        I mean do you know the severity of the injury the current players you mentioned? I mean most football players with knee injuries are out for along time.

      • MK

        At what point will you consider it a lost season? I know they have passed that point for me.

  5. Doc

    How is Diehl the losing pitcher, as shown in the write up above? Moreta started the game, is charged with two runs. The Reds never tied the game. Seems as though that should make Moreta the losing pitcher.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      As I was finishing up the wrapup story, the box score had Diehl as the losing pitcher. I questioned that at the time, but I thought maybe I wasn’t aware of some prerogative the official scorer might have to make that decision. But this morning, Moreta does show as the losing pitcher, so I made the change above. Thanks for pointing this out.

  6. Doc

    Box score shows Moreta is the losing pitcher.

  7. Irishmike

    Redsvol is the consummate optimist if he/she doesn’t realize that this season rivals Cousin Eddie’s RV and is the ultimate dumpster fire. We have become the Kansas City Athletics of the modern era. When I was a boy, the KCAs were essentially a feeder for the Yankees. No on wanted to see one of their cards in the 5 cent Tops purchase. The current Reds are no different. Look around the league and see your former favorites scattered everywhere. MLB needs to learn from the NFL and the parity they’ve achieved. Conversely, I’m not sure,if I was another owner, that I’d trust the Catellinis to put it into the team rather than merely pocket the money!

    • Jon

      Even the 2011-2013 Houston Astros performed better than this team.

    • MK

      Hey, I liked my Jerry Lumpe, Wayne Causey, Bobby Knoop, Don Mossi and Lew Krausse baseball cards

  8. LeRoy

    The Reds have been too streaky so far. They have a winning streak and then a losing streak. they they do it again. They win 2 and then lose 11 and win 1 again and lose 9. They finally win on again and now have started another losing streak. If they could reverse this trend they would be a good team, but what are they going to do?

    • Jon

      They literally have never had a winning streak this season- they haven’t won two consecutive games.

  9. David

    Although the Pirates are not a good, contending team, it DOES appear that something of a line-up of reliable players is starting to emerge.
    I don’t know how long Pham will be with the Reds (will they trade him at half-time of the season?), but Drury, Stephenson (no surprise) and Naquin (maybe) are starting to emerge. I hope we can get Jon India, Nick Senzel and Max Schrock back, along with Castillo. Castillo and Mahle could at least be an anchor on the rotation for the young guys.
    Even Moustakas seems to be getting his hitting together. Would someone take him at half-time, if he looked good at the plate?

    The season is lost, but they could at least play their way back to a semblance of ML respectability. I do think the 18-4 loss to the Brewers was rock bottom. They aren’t going to get worse than that again.
    With Tyler Mahle starting today, they actually have an even chance of winning today.