The Pirates have now won nine in a row and 11 of their last 12 after blasting four home runs and Ivan Nova carried a shutout into the seventh inning en route to a 9-2 laugher over the Reds in Cincinnati.
Matt Harvey, like Anthony DeSclafani the day before, has had issues controlling left-handed power, and that was on display early. After Corey Dickerson led off the game with a double to left, one out later Gregory Polanco laced a ball at 106.8 mph into the right field seats for his 17th homer of the season and a 2-0 Pirates’ lead.
The Pirates poured on four more runs in the second. With one out Sean Rodriguez continued his hot hitting with a double to center and was singled in by Max Moroff. After a sacrifice bunt by the pitcher Nova, Dickerson launched a shot 447 feet into right for his fifth homer in the last four games and second of four hits on the day. To add insult to injury, two pitches later Starling Marte deposited his 15th homer of the season to the bullpen in center for a back-to-back shot.
Then to add even more insult to the insult, Sean Rodriguez blasted his second homer of the series that saw him collected six hits in twelve at bats, raising his season average to .178.
Then, just to be ludicrous, Ivan Nova snapped an oh-for-63 streak in the batter’s box when he short hopped a ball off the fence in right center for a...single.
After the Reds finally broke through for a pair of runs off Nova in the seventh, Michael Feliz and Tyler Glasnow hurled 2 1⁄3 innings of shutout relief to close out the game.
The Pirates totaled 15 hits. Along with Dickerson’s four, Marte, Polanco, Bell and Rodriguez chipped in two each.
The win puts their record at 51-49, in a tie with the Cardinals for both third place in the National League Central at 7.5 games back and 4.5 games out of the second Wild Card.
On Monday Pittsburgh will continue it’s march acrossed Ohio when they invade
Jacobs Progressive Field in Cleveland. Trevor Williams (7-7, 4.36) will face Corey Kluber (12-5, 2.76) in a 7:10 start.