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Postgame: Jameson Taillon throws gem, Jordan Luplow homers in Pirates win

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Taillon throws a gem

Jameson Taillon and Tyler Mahle teamed up for a combined 12 scoreless and, thankfully, fast-paced innings, as a misty rain fell on a half empty PNC Park Saturday night. Both pitchers were supported by a couple of sparkling defensive plays and a fairly loose strike zone.

It was Taillon's best start of the season, according to Bill James' game score metric. Over six scoreless innings, the right-hander allowed three hits. He walked one, struck out four and posted a 72 game score.

"The volume of work tonight was really crisp, really efficient and very aggressive off the mound," Clint Hurdle said. "Nice to get a good, clean crisp outing."

After posting a close to 8.00 ERA since mid-July, Taillon credited working closely with Ray Searage between his last few starts for tonight's strong outing.

"I've actually felt the best I have all year, recently," Taillon said. "With that comes a little extra energy with my mechanics, which can make the ball flat. So, we were kind of working on the basics: standing tall and getting the ball out on time and creating an angle with the hitter that makes it tough to pick up."

With a solid start behind him, Taillon now looks forward to finishing the season strong.

"[This year] I've learned a lot," Taillon said. "More than anything I've learned that I belong [in the majors] ... This is a really good opportunity to put my foot down and head into the off season on a high note."

Comedic relief and a run

The Pirates finally scored in the seventh when Starling Marte looped a single over the outstretched glove of second baseman Scooter Gennett. After the ball dropped in, center fielder, Billy Hamilton, tripped over the sprawling Gennett. While Reds' fielders were piling up and splaying across the outfield, John Jaso chugged into third from first. Eventually right fielder, Phillip Ervin, recovered the ball and tossed it home, only to have the throw hit the left side of the mound and kick beyond the third base line. Catcher, Stuart Turner, then bobbled the ball and Michael Lorenzen came over to help, only to trip over Turner. Jaso came home to score, Marte took second and almost everyone else giggled.

"Once bodies start to fall and the tumbling is starting to happen, you never know what's going to go on," Hurdle said. "And you get a pitcher involved in a throw and there is no one backing up and no one at home, you never know what is going to happen and John [Jaso] picked up on it."

Luplow's first homer

Jordan Luplow collected both his first major league hit and home run Saturday night. The home run was a three-run blast in the eighth, which ended up a couple rows deep in the left field notch and put the Pirates safely ahead 4-0.

Luplow said that after the ball cleared the fence he thought about how proud his grandpa ("Papa John") would have been of him. He didn't hear the crowd or the fireworks as he rounded the bases. Instead, it is the stadium lights that will remain etched in his memory.

"You know what I noticed? The lights!" Luplow said. "They dim or flicker, or something like that. That's what I noticed. That's pretty cool."

Harrison gets hit

Josh Harrison was a hit on the left wrist by a pitch in the fifth, which led to him being removed from the game. There was no update from the team on his status after the game. Hurdle said he was undergoing a second evaluation.