It didn’t take 20 years this time. The Pirates picked up their 81st victory of the season and clinched a winning season Friday, beating the Reds 8-4.
The Pirates got solo home runs from Elias Diaz and Colin Moran and 2.1 innings of scoreless relief from Steven Brault to clinch their fourth above .500 record over the last 26 seasons.
Starter Nick Kingham lasted just 3.2 innings, allowing six hits and three walks, but only two runs. Brault played fireman to pick up his sixth win of the season (6-3).
Corey Dickerson got the Pirates on the board by driving home Adam Frazier on a double. Diaz picked up the first of his two RBI later in the inning. His fourth inning homer broke a 2-2 tie and was the eventual game-winner.
Moran picked up a sacrifice fly in the sixth and a run scoring single in the ninth to go along with his eighth inning homer.
Rookie infielders Kevin Kramer and Kevin Newman picked up RBI hits in the sixth and eighth innings as well.
Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani (7-8) allowed three runs and three hits in five innings.
Jung-Ho Kang played his first major league game since 2016 when he pinch-hit in the seventh inning. He ripped a 1-0 four-seamer for a single with a 95.1 MPH exit velocity.
He was eventually stranded on third base.
Jameson Taillon (14-9, 3.16) will go for his 15th win of the season Saturday, squaring off against Michael Lorenzen (3-2, 3.35) at 4:10 p.m.. The only two Pirates to reach 15 wins since 2000 are Gerrit Cole (2015) and A.J. Burnett (2012).
1. Dickerson has 15 extra-base hits against the Reds. That’s the most for any player against any team in baseball.
2. The Pirates are 13-4 against the Reds this year. That’s the most times the Pirates have beat Cincinnati in a season since 1960.
3. This is the second time in Pirates history where two catchers hit at least 10 home runs (Francisco Cervelli has 12). The other time it happened was in 2012 when Michael McKenry hit 12 and Rod Barajas hit 11.