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Lyles Goes Five Shutout Frames In Win Over Reds

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Lyles threw five scoreless in his Pirates debut and the bullpen took it from there in a 2-0 win over the Reds Thursday.

Lyles allowed three hits and three walks with two strikeouts in his outing before being pulled after 80 pitches.

“It’s a good start to get things going,” Lyles said. “Overall, very pleased with the handful of innings we got.

“Obviously going forward, five innings, not thrilled about that, but Clint was upfront and said we wanted to get off to a good start, and I respect that.”

Hurdle told Lyles as he was taking him out he does not intend to use him as a five inning guy this season. That’s just the way his pitch count worked out Thursday.

“He wanted to pitch a little bit [more],” Hurdle said. “I said we’re good for tonight, and he said ‘good.’”

Lyles thre 10 first pitch strikes to his 20 batters faced and retired six on three pitches or fewer.

The offense could not get anything going against Reds’ starter Tyler Mahle in his six innings of work, but two well placed hit and runs resulted in a pair of runs in the later innings. In the seventh, J.B. Shuck snuck a ball past second baseman Jose Peraza, allowing Kevin Newman to drive Pablo Reyes home on a ground out. In the eighth, Francisco Cervelli pushed Starling Marte to third with one out, setting up Josh Bell to poke a soft liner past a drew in infield.

Felipe Vazquez worked around a wild pitch on a strikeout and a double to pick up his first save of the season.

Bullpen Strikes Back

After two late collapses to the St. Louis Cardinals earlier in the homestand, Thursday was a quiet night for the bullpen. Nick Kingham worked around two hits in his two innings, and Richard Rodriguez walked and struck out a batter in the eighth.

“I have trouble using the term ‘bounce back’ this early,’” Hurdle said. “People look at things different ways. We just need to go play baseball.”

Even if Hurdle does not like using the term “bounce back,” it had that feel for Rodriguez, who had allowed home runs in both of his outings before Thursday.

“My mentality was ‘let’s just go,’” Rodriguez said through interpreter Mike Gonzalez. “The truth is, this is the beginning of the season. We’re still getting started, and I’m not putting any excuse, but what happened in the past, happened in the past. I flushed it, and I was ready to bounce back.”

On Deck

Joe Musgrove (0-0, 0.00) will make his first start of the season Friday, taking on Sonny Gray (0-1, 6.75) at 7:05 p.m..

NUMB3RS

1 .Lyles got four whiffs on 12 changeups (33.3%). Last year as a starter, he got nine whiffs on 87 changeups (10.3%).

2. The Pirates have gone 11-2 against the Reds in their last 13 games at PNC Park. In that time, the staff has posted a 2.31 ERA (30 ER/117 IP).

3. Even though Pirates batters didn’t draw a walk Thursday, their 29 walks so far this season are a franchise record through five games (previously 28 in five games in 1905).