The Pirates scrapped those three runs by loading the bases before recording an out in the second and sixth innings. In the second, the Bucs caught a break when Reds shortstop Jose Peraza dropped what would have been a line-drive twin killer, allowing Colin Moran to score from third base for the first run of the game. In the sixth, Starling Marte and Moran hit back-to-back sacrifice flies to take the lead for good.
“I think that’s a testament to grinding out at-bats,” Moran said.
The Reds got their first run in the third on a Scooter Gennett sacrifice fly, but starter Chad Kuhl was able to limit the damage by stranding two runners.
Kuhl had to strand a pair again in the fourth, but he was to blame this time. After allowing back-to-back singles to open the frame, he fielded and proceeded to throw away a sacrifice bunt attempt into left field, putting runners on second and third with the Bucs down a run.
“Really couldn’t believe [it]. I was in shock myself that I threw that ball away,” Kuhl said.
As Kuhl would point out, that was his first major league error.
After an angry, animated leap after seeing the ball trickle away from Moran at third, he took a moment behind the mound before his next pitch to regroup.
“That’s something I probably wouldn’t have done a few years ago,” Kuhl said. “...Just being able to kind of flush it and just execute pitches from then on out.”
He was able to get out of the jam without allowing any more damage, getting Scott Schebler and Tucker Barnhart to strikeout before inducing a Joey Votto worm-killer to end the inning.
Kuhl lasted six innings, allowing six hits, three walks and two runs- one earned. He struck out six, threw 16 first pitch strikes to his 29 batters faced and retired nine hitters on three pitches or fewer. He improves to 5-4.
Reds’ starter Matt Harvey went 5+ innings with four hits, two walks and three earned runs on his ledger. He falls to 1-5 on the year.
Tyler Glasnow, Kyle Crick and Felipe Vazquez pitched scoreless seventh, eighth and ninth innings, respectively. Vazquez picked up his 13th save.
This is the first time the Pirates have won consecutive games since they won three in a row May 15-17.
Moran went 1-2 with a walk, a run and sacrifice fly to help the Pirates win, but he kept a personal streak going as well. He has now reached base in 14 consecutive starts. In that stretch of starts, he’s hit .319 and drawn seven walks.
“For the most part, I’m just trying to get my pitch. I know that sounds simple, but I try to keep it that simple. When you try to complicate things, that’s when things go bad,” Moran said.
Moran entered play with the third highest OBP among qualified rookies, and that figure now sits at .359.
The Pirates are Reds will resume their three game set Saturday at 4:05 p.m.. Ivan Nova (3-5, 4.68) will square off against Luis Castillo (4-7, 5.79).
- Pirates pitchers now have nine errors: the most in the National League.
- Batters have a .603 OPS against Glasnow this year when the game is within one run or tied.
- Friday’s paid attendance was 23,007. That’s the fourth largest crowd of the season. 2017’s average home attendance was 23,697.