Struggles in the seventh inning cost the Pirates on Opening Day, falling to the Reds 5-3.
Jameson Taillon was rolling before heading into that faithful frame, but lost the lead when Jose Peraza lead off the inning with a solo shot to left. He was pulled after surrendering a walk to Tucker Barnhart and a line hugging double to Jose Iglesias, and pinch-hitter Derek Dietrich took Richard Rodriguez deep to give the Reds a 5-2 advantage.
Taillon (0-1) finished with four earned runs on his ledger in 6+ innings. He struck out four, walked two and allowed a homer.
The Pirates struck for two runs in the sixth on a base hit by Jung-Ho Kang, with Francisco Cervelli scoring all the way from first via an aggressive send by third base coach Joey Cora.
Corey Dickerson homered to start the eighth inning to bring the Bucs back within a pair. He got a chance to play hero with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth, but grounded out on the 12th pitch of the at-bat.
Reds starter Luis Castillo struck out eight in 5.2 innings of one run ball. Zach Duke gets the win (1-0) and David Hernandez the save (1).
A migraine forced Starling Marte out of the lineup shortly before first pitch. J.B. Shuck got the start instead, going 0-2 with two walks.
The Pirates get a day off Friday before resuming play at Saturday. Trevor Williams will face Sonny Gray, with first pitch coming at 2:10 p.m..
1. The Pirates struck out 11 times Thursday. Seven of them came on pitches outside of the zone.
2. Dickerson walked in his first plate appearance of the season. He drew his first walk in his 41st plate appearance last year.
3. Reliever Nick Burdi struck out the side in the eighth inning. He threw nine sliders and got whiffs on four of them.