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J Hay lifts Bucs in 12th

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

Kuhl and Santana had the Pirates cruising through seven innings before the 4-1 lead evaporated in the hands of Feliz and Vazquez. The Bucs eventually pushed the go ahead run across in the 12th inning and held on to even up the series.

The 12th inning played with the emotions of all who watched:

Top 12

Meadows doubled to lead off the inning but was promptly tagged out in a rundown after Mercer hit a one hopper back to the pitcher. (In light of last week’s count of unscored lead off doubles in go ahead situations, I’ve concluded that Hurdle has likely removed all ‘small ball’ ideologies from the clubhouse and replaced them with giant posters of Bill James.)

Rodriguez came on to pinch hit in the pitcher’s spot and flew out to right in what was deep enough to score a solid runner(like, say…. Austin Meadows) from third base.

BUT, with two outs and Mercer still on first, Josh Harrison roped a double down the right field line allowing Jordy to truck around the bases and slide in safely ahead of the throw. Bucs took a 5-4 lead.

Bottom 12

Kyle Crick came on to shut the door but immediately gave up a double to Votto and a single to Gennett. Then Crick, by some miracle, earned his first big league save by getting Suarez to fly out to shallow left, striking out Floro, walking Peraza, and inducing a ground out from Dixon.

Bucs win, 5-4.

Pirates and Reds will face off in the rubber game tomorrow at 12:35 EDT. Nova, coming off his first strong start of May, will take the hill for the good guys against Reds’ Luis Castillo.