I spent the evening in Dayton visiting a college friend and watching the Dayton Dragons play the South Bend Cubs. Due to logistical reasons that I won't go into here, we didn't go to watch baseball an hour south in Cincinnati, so I missed tonight's game. I did get to watch Cubs prospects Ian Happ and 18-year-old Gleyber Torres for the first time, which was cool -- it's always good to see a couple hitters who are going to give the Pirates fits three years before they actually do it. Also, I highly recommend going to watch a ballgame in Dayton if you get the chance -- it's one of the best minor league parks I've seen, right up there with Columbus'.
Anyway, Eli and Bill were also off doing other stuff tonight, so here we are. Gerrit Cole struck out eight batters over five innings, but gave up three runs, and the Pirates lost 4-3. A leadoff triple by Marlon Byrd, who's still on the Reds for some reason, led to a run for Cincinnati in the second inning -- Andrew McCutchen approached the ball awkwardly and it got past him, and Byrd scored later on a sacrifice fly. The Pirates got one back in the fourth as Jung-Ho Kang blasted a pitch into the second deck for his eighth homer of the year, but fell behind 2-1 in the bottom of the inning when Byrd and Brayan Pena singled and Byrd came home on Eugenio Suarez's double.
Cole gave up an RBI double to Jay Bruce in the fifth, then gave way to Arquimedes Caminero. The Pirates scored one in the seventh as Neil Walker singled, Pedro Alvarez walked, and Travis Ishikawa brought home Walker with a ground-ball single. Joe Blanton made his Pirates debut in the bottom of the inning and retired the side, though he gave up a run in the eighth when Jay Bruce doubled and came home later on Suarez's sacrifice fly. The Bucs scored a run in the ninth on a series of singles. Sean Rodriguez, representing the tying run, almost went home on a ball that got away from Todd Frazier on a throw to third. He had to stay put, though, and Aroldis Chapman struck out Starling Marte with a 100 MPH fastball with the bases loaded to end the threat.