The Times West Virginian

Pirates

September 23, 2013

Reds top Pirates, tie for wild card lead

PITTSBURGH — Billy Hamilton remains perfect on the basepaths. The Cincinnati Reds remain perfect with their speedy rookie outfielder in the starting lineup.

The combination could prove potent during the final week of the regular season, and maybe beyond.

Hamilton got three hits and stole two more bases and the Reds routed Pittsburgh 11-3 Sunday to tie the Pirates for the NL wild-card lead. Batting right behind Hamilton, Chris Heisey had three hits and two RBIs as the Reds won two of three to pull even with the scuffling Pirates.

“Those guys set up some big innings,” Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said. “You need guys in your lineup to drive in runs but it’s just as important to have guys to get on base so they can be driven in.”

The Reds and Pirates each have magic numbers of two to close out Washington and clinch a playoff spot. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh trail NL Central leader St. Louis by 2 1-2 games, pending the Cardinals’ night game at Milwaukee.

Jay Bruce hit a three-run double and Todd Frazier followed with a homer that capped a five-run burst in the first inning. Bronson Arroyo (14-11) made it stand up, lasting five innings to win for the first time in nearly a month. The Reds won for the fifth time in six games to head home for a season-ending six-game homestand with some serious momentum.

“We knew it was an important series, they knew it was an important and our guys responded and jumped them early in this one,” Baker said. “It was a good win for us, an important win.”

Neil Walker hit his 13th homer of the season, but Pittsburgh stumbled in its home finale. The Pirates have lost five of seven and will have to clinch its first postseason berth in 21 years on the road. Pittsburgh begins a six-game road trip on Monday in Chicago against the Cubs.

“Today we dug ourselves a little bit of a hole early and they never let up, kept their foot on the gas pedal,” Walker said. “We have to continue to play good baseball and things will go our way.”

They’re certainly going Hamilton’s way at the moment. His presence has given the Reds a needed late-season jolt. He was at it again on Sunday, easily taking second base in the second inning and doing it again in the sixth. Hamilton is 12 for 12 on swipe tries since his late-season promotion from Triple-A and is 6 for 14 and has scored nine times as a major leaguer.

Bruce had four RBIs and Chris Heisey added three hits while driving in two runs.

Jeff Locke (10-7) was tagged in the first inning and didn’t come out for the second.

After morphing from fifth starter to improbable All-Star, Locke fell to 2-5 with a 6.12 ERA in the second half of the season. Locke’s next turn in the rotation is scheduled for Saturday in Cincinnati, but an off-day on Thursday gives the Pirates some flexibility with their rotation for a series that could have serious playoff implications.

After Bruce doubled to the gap in left-center field, Frazier followed with his 18th homer, a two-run shot to the deepest part of PNC Park.

“Everything happened pretty fast,” Locke said. “A hit a few walks, a big hit by Bruce, and the homer by Frazier and before you know it Arroyo was my last hitter. I think you try to avoid the big inning and unfortunately the big inning was the first inning.”

Cincinnati pushed its advantage to 7-0 in the second on an RBI double by Heisey and a sacrifice fly from Brandon Phillips off reliever Jeanmar Gomez.

Staked to such a huge cushion, Arroyo worked quickly if not exactly effectively. Walker hit his third homer in four games leading off the third and pinch-hitter Travis Snider did the same in the fifth.

Pittsburgh’s best chance to make it close came later in that inning when Walker’s double put runners in scoring position with no outs. Arroyo surrendered only a sacrifice fly by Justin Morneau that made it 7-3. The veteran right-hander gave up three runs on five hits in five innings, walking two and striking out three.

NOTES: Pirates C Russell Martin left the game in the fifth with soreness in his left knee ... Cincinnati pitchers struck out six to lift their season total to 1,249, a club record ... Baker said RHP Johnny Cueto will have a 100-pitch limit when he starts on Monday against the Mets. Cueto missed more than two months with a strained right lat before returning to pitch five scoreless innings last week against Houston ... Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said Jason Grilli is back as the full-time closer. Grilli picked up his first save since July 21 when he recorded the final three outs of a 4-2 win over the Reds on Saturday night. Grilli missed more than six weeks with a strained right forearm ... A sellout crowd of 38,699 showed up for the final regular season game at PNC Park. The 23 sellouts this season are the second-highest total in the team’s 126-year history, as is the total attendance of 2.26 million.

 

1
Text Only
Pirates
  • McCutchen, Alvarez lead Pirates over Brewers

    Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.

    April 18, 2014

  • Pirates shut out by Reds’ Cueto, 4-0

    Johnny Cueto was on his game, and the only thing that the Pirates could do was watch.
    Cueto pitched his third career shutout against the team that beat him in the NL wild card game, and Joey Votto hit a two-run homer that led the Cincinnati Reds over the Pirates 4-0 Wednesday for their first winning series this season.

    April 17, 2014

  • Pirates finish off suspended game, fall in nightcap

    Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole’s winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays.

    April 16, 2014

  • Sanchez throws away easy out, Bucs lose to Brewers

    Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Tony Sanchez has practiced the play many times. Scoop a pitch in the dirt on a strikeout, make the throw to first base for an easy out.

    April 14, 2014

  • Brewers edge Pirates for 8th straight win

    Carlos Gomez hit a leadoff homer, Jonathan Lucroy drove in the tiebreaking run with an eighth-inning single and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 Saturday night for their eighth consecutive victory.
    Gomez got Milwaukee started with a 432-foot drive to center field off Edinson Volquez, and Khris Davis scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0 in the second.

    April 13, 2014

  • Brewers win 7th straight, beat Pirates, 4-2

    Aramis Ramirez hit a two-run homer that backed Wily Peralta, and the Milwaukee Brewers extended their winning streak to seven with a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.
    Francisco Liriano befuddled the Brewers with his slider over the first three innings before Ramirez sent a 1-2 fastball over the left-field wall for a 2-0 lead.

    April 12, 2014

  • Alvarez, Pirates hold off Cubs

    Pedro Alvarez stepped to the plate ready to strike in a big spot.
    Once again, he delivered.
    Alvarez hit a three-run homer to cap a five-run seventh inning and Jason Grilli retired Emilio Bonifacio on a bases-loaded grounder to end the game, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.

    April 11, 2014

  • Cubs survive five Pirate homers

    Jason Hammel threw seven strong innings, Anthony Rizzo had four hits, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-5 on Wednesday night despite allowing five solo home runs.
    Signed to a one-year, $6 million contract over the offseason, Hammel (2-0) won his Cubs debut when he beat the Pirates in Pittsburgh.

    April 10, 2014

  • MAIN Cardinals Pirates Bas_time (2).jpg Pirates slip past Cardinals for 2-1 victory

    For his first start with the Pirates, Edinson Volquez beat Adam Wainwright. That’ll do nicely as an early return on that offseason contract he signed with the Pirates.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates’ Taillon set for Tommy John surgery

    Right-hander Jameson Taillon, considered the Pittsburgh Pirates’ top pitching prospect, will have Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire season and likely part of 2015.

    April 7, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads