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Reds trounce Pirates 9-1 in opener

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MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Homer Bailey entered the game with an 8.37 ERA, but it was Jameson Taillon who allowed 8 runs on 11 hits, while Bailey allowed only a single run in 6 innings.

Cincinnati took a 1-0 lead in the first when Pirate nemesis Billy Hamilton tripled to open the game and scored when Joey Votto hit into a fielder’s choice. The game still seemed in hand when the Pirates tied the score on a hit batsmen by Starling Marte and singles by Andrew McCutchen and Josh Bell.

However, that’s when fundamentals broke down, with McCutchen getting caught between second and third by the pitcher Bailey with David Freese at the plate.

The Reds sealed the game in the second as with one out Jose Peraza lined a double to right center and scored when Tucker Barnhart grounded a single to center. Bailey bunted back to Taillon but the throw to second pulled shortstop Jordy Mercer off the bag. Immediately afterwards that miscue the light hitting Hamilton lifted a three-run homer into the seats in right.

Not thoroughly embarrassed yet, after Adam Duvall opened the 4th with a double to center, Scotter Gennett promptly lined a single to left. Marte made a strong throw home to hold Duvall at third, and then Gennett was caught in a run down between first and second - but the center fielder McCutchen was the only player on defense who remembered to (belatedly) cover the base at second as Gennett scooted in without a throw.

In the two starts since Taillon threw 116 pitches in only 5 13 innings, he has allowed 9 and 8 runs. Besides the homer to Hamilton, he also served up rookie Jesse Winkler’s first major league round-tripper, and Eugenio Suarez added his 17th in the 9th off Jhan Marinez.

Adam Frazier had 3 of the Pirates’ 7 hits.