After not winning a game in nearly two weeks, the Cincinnati Reds busted out a 7-run 8th inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates to break their losing streak and pick up their 4th win of the season with a 9-2 victory. Later today they’ll go for the 5th win of the season as part of a day/night doubleheader.

Final R H E
Pittsburgh Pirates (10-15) 2 8 3
Cincinnati Reds (4-22) 9 8 0
W: Sims (1-0) L: Crowe (1-2)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati got things rolling early on. Brandon Drury singled with one out in the bottom of the 1st and moved up to second base on a throwing error. Mike Moustakas would walk and then both came around the bases to score on a 2-out double by Tyler Stephenson that put the Reds up 2-0.

The offense went silent after that for a while. In the 5th inning TJ Friedl and Tyler Naquin would walk to put two men on with one out, but JT Brubaker buckled down and got out of the jam and kept the Reds lead at 2-1.

With the game tied up at 2-2 and Josh VanMeter taking over behind the plate despite never having caught a professional game in his life, the Reds got the inning started out with Brandon Drury being hit by a pitch. Four pitches later a pitch in the dirt got away from VanMeter and Drury moved up to second base. Tommy Pham and Mike Moustakas both followed with a walk to load the bases with no outs. That brought Tyler Stephenson to the plate, and he got some help from the umpire after getting a very gracious call on a pitch that was clearly a strike and extended his at-bat before he doubled in two runs to put Cincinnati up 4-2.

Following the Stephenson double Colin Moran walked to load the bases. After Kyle Farmer struck out, TJ Friedl hit a sacrifice fly to center to make it 5-2 for the Reds. Albert Almora Jr. then hit one up the middle that pitcher Beau Sulser couldn’t come up with and the bases were loaded once again. Tyler Naquin cleared the bases with a 3-run double off of the warning track in left-center to extend the lead to 8-2. Brandon Drury doubled in Naquin and Cincinnati’s season high run total went up to nine. The inning ended with a ground out to follow, but holding a 9-2 lead the team needed just three more outs without giving up a touchdown’s worth of runs to seal their first win in two weeks.

The Pitching

Connor Overton was perfect through the first two innings. But Diego Castillo singled to lead off the 3rd inning to break that up. He was erased on a double play that followed. But Roberto Perez singled and then scored when Ben Gamel doubled to cut the Reds lead in half to 2-1. In the 5th inning a Jake Marisnick double put the tying run in scoring position with two outs, but Overton picked up a strikeout to end the threat and the inning.

Things didn’t go as well the following frame. Ben Gamel singled to lead off the inning and moved up to second on a ground out. Ke’Bryan Hayes then singled into center to tie the game up. That also ended the day for Overton as the Reds turned to Luis Cessa to finish out the inning – and he did just that, needing just three pitches to do so. He didn’t need many more pitches than that to get through the 7th inning, either.

Lucas Sims came out for the 8th inning and he found himself in a jam rather quickly. Roberto Perez and Ben Gamel started the inning with back-to-back singles, but Perez injured himself rounding second base and had to exit the game. Sims then walked Bryan Reynolds to load the bases with no outs before a visit from Derek Johnson. He fell behind 2-0 to Ke’Bryan Hayes, but battled back with three straight strikes to fan him and record the first out of the inning. Daniel Vogelbach came up next, and Sims got him on a strikeout, too. Michael Chavis was the Pirates last hope, but he was yet another strikeout victim for Sims, who stranded all three runners to keep the game tied up at 2-2.

A huge bottom of the 8th inning put Cincinnati ahead 9-2. The Reds went to Hunter Strickland for the 9th to protect a big lead and try to seal their first win in two weeks. He did just that, working around a walk with three strikeouts.

Key Moment of the Game

Bases loaded, no outs, bottom of the 8th inning. Tyler Stephenson took pitch #4 of the at-bat and inexplicably it was called a ball instead of strike three. We’ll never know how things play out from there, but instead of having one out, the Pirates had to keep pitching to Stephenson and he would later double in two runs and the inning would then implode even further as Cincinnati put up a 7-spot in the inning.

Notes Worth Noting

The Reds scored 7 runs in the 8th inning. They had not scored 7 runs in a single game all season to that point.

Robert Dugger, who was scheduled to start Game 2 of the doubleheader tonight, was scratched from his start. Dauri Moreta will start the game for Cincinnati.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Pittsburgh Pirates vs Cincinnati Reds

Saturday May 7th, 6:40pm ET

Mitch Keller (0-4, 5.32 ERA) vs TBA

30 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    Post-game show may be gushing just a little bit. It’s only one win and against the Pie-Rats to boot. It’s a confidence builder, but let’s not think that we suddenly turned it all around. Beats losing, especially when we’re the ones who had the monster inning.

  2. Keith

    Must’ve been one great speech by Johnson to Sims!

  3. Eddie

    Maybe should not watch no more so reds can win this season but it is pirates who 50/50 at times won’t be shock we lose game 2 lol n tm

  4. Old-school

    Nice to have a 25 yo catcher with an advanced hitting approach.

  5. SOQ

    Baby Steps. It felt good though. Let’s get 2

  6. LDS

    So Stephenson wins the game for the Teds and can’t even DH?

    • Kevin H

      You beat me too it. His bat needs to be in the lineup. Farmer is your 3rd catcher if need be.

      • LDS

        Bell can’t stand the prospect of winning twice

    • burtgummer01

      Just coming off the dl plus he got banged up today,let him sit for a day maybe ph later

      • VaRedsFan

        Because DH’ing is so hard?
        We live in a kid’s glove society now.

    • Old-school

      Doubleheaders kill catchers.

      If he played game 2 even at DH, he’d be out tomorrow at 110
      Pm start . Every team needs 2 goodcatchers

      Id make Stephenson the back up
      Catcher and transition him
      To first base. He is arguably the most important positional piece to the post Votto Reds era because of his youth, exceptional hit tool and catching. He and India are my 2 fav players.

      • LDS

        He could always DH this evening and tomorrow and let Garcia or Farmer catch. Stephenson is the youngest position player on the active roster. Even though catching is hard, you guys are telling me he needs more rest/time off than Moose, Moran, Farmer, or Votto when Votto is around? Not buying it.

      • greenmtred

        He’s just off of the injured list after suffering a concussion.. Ever had one of those? I have. Catching is the most physically taxing job in baseball. Giving a bit of protection to one of the best young players in the organization in an essentially meaningless doubleheader is perfectly reasonable.

      • Melvin

        He’s back in the game…and catching….batting 9th. I have to believe the DH would have been better.

    • Redsfan4life

      Why push Tyler? These games are meaningless. They are losing a 100 plus this season. No point in playing Tyler 2 games in one day. Keep him in one piece for 2024 when they may have a shot a being a winning team.

      • Luke J

        Since when is DH pushing someone? That is absurd. Used to be that was considered resting someone.

  7. Melvin

    Like I’ve been saying, TS needs to be the DH when not catching. Even if a previous comment is correct and he’s out tomorrow, let him hit while he’s hot. What have we got to lose? By the way as I’ve said before, Sparky even had Bench start the second game of a DH in CF on one occasion to keep his bat in the lineup.

    • VaRedsFan

      I agree. I just want someone to explain how taking 4 AB’s is so stressful and how it make him less effective in 2024….2 years from now.
      Do we have enough bubble wrap to last 2 more years?

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Just speculating, but remember in the ninth inning Stephenson had one fouled off his mask and the trainer was out there for awhile with him. They might be taking it easy with him with the previous concussion in mind.

      • Melvin

        You always make good comments Tom. I’ve always known you to be a good guy from our Strato days a couple of years ago when we didn’t have real baseball. Unfortunately, for most of this season, those days were arguably more exciting. lol

    • VaRedsFan

      Not Indy…but I like the 6. Messier

      • Old-school

        Taiba is the hot horse but favorites usually get run out and some long shot comes out of nowhere

        Derby a piece of Americana for sure

      • Old-school

        Jeff Ruby all in on messier advertising

  8. William

    I tuned into radio just in time for that big Reds inning. Enjoyed it!

  9. Eddie

    Haha losing 4 to 0 in first inning bc bell pulled muller or someone we traded or pick up off waviers I read on another article that bell using the bullpen. We can never win more than one game in a row what a joke

  10. gusnwally

    And in an even more unbelievable upset than the Ky Derby , the Cincinnati Reds won a baseball game.