Trevor Williams worked out of a first inning jam to deliver another studly, scoreless performance, but it was Adam Frazier who they again led the offense, going 4-for-4 with 3 runs driven in.
It looked like big trouble in the top of the first for Williams, who’d only allowed four runs in his previous eight starts, as a slow roller to third by Joey Votto and a deep fly to center by Scooter Gennett, after six straight foul balls, had runners at second and third for the Reds with only one out. In stepped nemesis Eugenio Suarez, with 31 home runs and a National league leading 100 RBIs. Suarez worked the count full, but then had to walk back to the dugout after a generous strike three call on a fastball inside by home plate umpire Ted Barrett. Scott Schebler hit the first pitch he saw for an easy fly to center for the third out, and Williams was never in trouble again.
Frazier got his game going in the bottom of the first, when with one out he drove a 1-1 pitch from right-hander Matt Harvey deep into the seats in right, his eighth of the year and fifth since returning from the minor leagues on July 25.
From there it was a Pittsburgh Pirates patented 1-0 game deep into the middle innings. Harvey had hardly broken a sweat, throwing only 60 pitches through five innings, but Frazier led off the sixth dropping a soft popup down the left field line for a single, his third hit of the game. Gregory Polanco then caught a 93 mph center-center fastball and smacked a high, arching drive that landed in the first few rows above the Clemente Wall in right-center to give the Pirates a 3-0 lead.
They tacked on two more insurance runs in the seventh. Kevin Newman dropped a soft fly into right off reliever Sal Romano then Reds’ second baseman Gennett threw away a potential double play grounder off the bat of pinch-hitter Jose Osuna, putting runners at second and third. Starling Marte popped out to third, but Frazier laced a 1-1 pitch past the pitcher and into center. With two outs Osuna was motoring and his feet-first slide barely beat the throw home from center fielder Hamilton.
Since Frazier was recalled in July, he’s now hitting 352/405/619 in 33 games and 116 plate appearances.
Kyle Crick relieved Williams in the eighth and lost the shutout when surrendered a long ball to Gennett, but Keone Kela set the Reds down 1-2-3 in the ninth to seal the victory.
The series continues at 7:05 pm Eastern as Reds’ left-hander Cody Reed (0-1, 3.26) will make his third start of the year against Joe Musgrove (5-6, 3.80)