Jameson Taillon allowed four Reds baserunners in a 110-pitch complete-game effort, one-hitting Cincinnati on a chilly Sunday afternoon at PNC Park for a 5-0 Pirates victory.
The Pirates took the series from the Reds, three games to one, and sit at 7-2 on the season heading into a road trip to Chicago and Miami.
Taillon struck out seven, providing two strong outings as bookends of the Pirates’ six-game homestand.
The lone hit he gave up was to mound opponent Tyler Mahle, a single to center in the third inning. Taillon hit Eugenio Suarez in the hand with a pitch in the fourth, and issued his first walk of the season, to Scooter Gennett in the seventh.
With 94 pitches through eight innings, Taillon went to the on-deck circle but didn’t have to bat in the bottom of the inning. He came out for the ninth and struck out Billy Hamilton looking, and Jesse Winker grounded out on a rangy play by Josh Harrison. Taillon then issued his second walk, to Cliff Pennington, before Corey Dickerson made a nice charging play on Joey Votto’s sinking liner to left field to preserve Taillon’s one-hitter, shutout and complete game.
Taillon drove in the Pirates’ first run, all he would end up needing. Jordy Mercer cracked a two-out double in the second, then Taillon slapped a single to right. Joey Cora made a characteristically risky send of Mercer, who scored when Winker’s throw was a little off line.
The Pirates’ bats broke out against Mahle in the fifth. Harrison led off with a single, then Gregory Polanco drilled a two-run home run to right. Starling Marte followed with a double to center, and scored on Josh Bell’s single. Bell got caught in between first and second for the second out, then Corey Dickerson launched his first Pirates home run, a solo shot into the right-field seats. That chased Mahle and gave the Pirates a 5-0 lead they would hold.
Harrison went 2-for-3, and Polanco and Colin Moran went 2-for-4. Polanco’s two RBIs give him 11 on the young season.
The Pirates face the Cubs for the first time this season in the North Siders’ home opener at 2:20 p.m. Monday.