Walks haunted the Cincinnati Reds pitching staff this afternoon in a 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first game of a day-night doubleheader before 28,731 at PNC Park.
|Cincinnati Reds (61-58)||2||7||0|
|Pittsburgh Pirates (53-64)
|W: Perdomo (3-2) L: Young (4-1) Sv: Bednar (24)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
While allowing only three hits, Reds pitchers walked five Pirates batters, and three of them scored — two in the decisive seventh inning when pinch-hitter Jared Triolo touched up reliever Alex Young for a three-run homer. The two on base were via walk — one from Lucas Sims, and one from Young.
As this post was set live at 4:40 p.m. Eastern time, the Brewers’ and Cubs’ games were not over. But in the ninth inning, Milwaukee led the White Sox 7-0, and Toronto led the Cubs 11-4. Presuming those scores hold up, the third-place Reds would fall four games behind the Brewers, and the second-place Cubs would fall three games behind. We’re getting close to the point where the Reds risk falling off a cliff if they can’t put things together the way they were in June and early July. A second-game win in a couple of hours is very much needed.
For the game, the Reds batted 7-for-33, and drew four walks. They weren’t able to cash in on the opportunities, primarily due to striking out 12 times and grounding into two double plays. Spencer Steer led the Reds offense with three hits, including a double. Matt McLain hit safely twice, including an RBI double. On the other side of the spectrum, Elly De La Cruz took the golden sombrero with four strikeouts in four at-bats.
In the top of the fourth, McLain reached on an infield hit, and Joey Votto walked with two out. Christian Encarnacion-Strand followed with a run-scoring single to left-center to give the visitors the first run and first lead of the game.
In the fifth, Will Benson reached when a ball fell between Pittsburgh shortstop Alika Williams and left fielder Connor Joe. Neither player touched the ball, but it was scored as an error because someone should have easily made the catch. Benson stole second, then scored on a two-out opposite-field double to right by McLain to put Cincinnati up 2-0.
The pitching line for the four Reds hurlers combined: 8 innings, 3 hits, 4 runs (all earned), 5 walks and 8 strikeouts. It overshadowed another excellent start by Brandon Williamson: 5 2/3 innings, 2 hits, 2 walks and 6 strikeouts. He continues to establish himself as someone this team can rely upon for an effective effort each time out.
After KeBryan Hayes led off the game for Pittsburgh with a single, Williamson turned on his ace mode and set down the next 12 consecutive Pirates hitters, six on strikeouts. That streak ended when Henry Davis walked to lead off the fifth, advanced to second on a wild pitch, then scored on Williams’ two-out dying-quail single to pull the home team within 2-1.
In the sixth, Andrew McCutchen walked with two out, which prompted Manager David Bell to remove Williamson after 88 pitches. Lucas Sims entered, walked Joe, but then struck out Davis to put down the two-on, two-out threat.
Sims returned to start the seventh, but walked leadoff batter Liover Peguero. Alex Young was summoned, at which time Alfonso Rivas sacrificed Peguero to second. Pinch-hitter Endy Rodriguez walked, and fellow pinch-hitter Jared Triolo followed with a homer to give Pittsburgh a 4-2 lead.
Derek Law finished up with a scoreless eighth inning.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates (game 2)
Sunday, August 13, 6:05 p.m. ET
Luke Weaver (2-4, 6.75 ERA) vs. Andre Jackson (0-0, 5.16 ERA)