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Pirates continue to struggle against Reds, lose 4-2

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MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates continued to struggle against the Reds on a rainy Thursday afternoon, losing 4-2 to drop three of four on the series and six of seven against Cincinnati on the year.

Ivan Nova cruised through the early innings with his usual strike-throwing approach, and the Pirates grabbed an early lead in the second on an RBI double by the hot-hitting Gift Ngeope. The Reds, though, scored two in a long bottom of the fourth, beginning the inning with three straight hits and ultimately reaching base five times as Nova threw 23 pitches.

The fifth inning didn’t go much better. Nova struck out opposing pitcher Tim Adleman, but Billy Hamilton reached base (never a good sign), stole second, and came around on Joey Votto’s double. Adam Duvall tripled home Votto as Gregory Polanco missed a tough catch and overran the ball in right.

The Pirates cut the Reds’ lead to 4-2 as Josh Bell and Francisco Cervelli hit back-to-back doubles in the sixth, but otherwise struggled against an underwhelming Reds pitching staff. The Bucs are now 12-16 and remain in last place in the NL Central.