It was perilous at times, but the Reds claimed a much needed series win.
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Mike Moustakas entered play today having knocked around Pittsburgh Pirates starter Trevor Cahill throughout his career, and that certainly did not change.
Moose’s solo homer was the single biggest blast of the game, but that was far from his only contribution on the day. He walked twice, added a single, and scored twice, in the process raising his OPS by some 70 points.
The Cincinnati Reds are desperately going to need his lefty bat to emerge while Joey Votto is sidelined, and with this successful day in the books and a four-game series in Coors Field on the horizon, perhaps we’re about to see the Moose put together a big run.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Eugenio Suarez, who bonked a huge 3-run double; Jesse Winker, who had 2 hits and a ribbie; Kyle Farmer, who had a trio of singles; Lucas Sims, who fanned 4 in a pair perfect IP; Tejay Antone, who retired 4 Peerats without allowing a baserunner; Sean Doolittle, who tossed a perfect frame; Nick Castellanos, who smacked a pair of singles; and Heath Hembree, who put this on ice in the 10th.
- Moose blasted his solo shot in the Top of the 2nd off Cahill, going low to line it over the wall in right center and give the Reds an early 1-0 lead.
- A series of singles in the Bottom of the 5th off Sonny allowed the Pirates back into this game. Kevin Newman, Phillip Evans, and Gregory Polanco did the deeds, the last of which plated a run to make it a 1-1 game.
- The game sleepwalked into the Top of the 10th – sleptwalked? – before anything else of note happened offensively, but it was eventually a positive for the Reds. Nick Senzel was luckily the runner on 2B to begin the frame, and he speedily scored on a leadoff single by Winker to give the Reds a 2-1 lead. Nick Castellanos followed with a single to put runners on the corners, with Moose then walking to load them up. Geno proceeded to unload them with a bases-clearing double, and the Reds held a 5-1 advantage.
- Heath Hembree took over for the Bottom of the 10th to put this one on ice, as you’d know if you had read the first part of this recap, and the Reds walked away with a 5-1 victory.
- Sonny’s MLB record streak of 48 consecutive starts allowing 6 or fewer hits came to an end in this one. He hit 95 mph repeatedly early, which was a good sign, but he certainly was struggling with location for much of the day. He exited with a pair of runners on and a pair of outs in the Bottom of the 5th after 87 pitches, and thanks to Antone he finished with a final line of 7 H, ER, 2 BB, 5 K.
- The Reds will pack their bags in Pittsburgh and head west this afternoon, landing in Denver to have beers and pizza with me. Tomorrow, they’ll begin a four-game weekend series against the Colorado Rockies where, fortunately, there is mercifully no snow in the forecast anymore. In fact, it should be rather nice here temperature-wise, though there’s a decent chance for thunderstorms for the Saturday/Sunday games. First pitch in the opener Thursday is set for 8:40 PM ET, with Luis Castillo on the bump opposite Chi Chi Gonzalez.