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Reynolds’ Big Night Gets Bucs Back In Win Column

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Bryan Reynolds’ game-winning three run homer completed a six run comeback as the Pirates salvaged a split with the Tigers in an 8-7 win.

Trailing 7-1 in the third, the Pirates pulled off their largest comeback win since 2008 with three swings of the bat. The first came in the home half of the third when Corey Dickerson roped a two out, two run double.

In the fifth, a Reynolds bloop was followed by a Starling Marte blast to bring the Bucs back to within a pair.

And in the sixth, Reynolds played the hero by crushing a hanging curve 421 feet to give the Bucs their first lead of the game. Two scoreless innings by Francisco Liriano and a Felipe Vazquez save (17) made that home run hold up.

Richard Rodriguez (2-3) gets the win for his scoreless sixth. Nick Ramirez takes the loss to fall to 3-2 after allowing five runs in 1.1 innings.

That home run capped Reynolds’ three hit, three run, three RBI night. In the process, he raised his batting average to .362 and his OPS to .989.

“What Bryan Reynolds is doing right now is extremely impressive,” said Trevor Williams. “I hope a lot more eyes are being opened to who he is as a ball player, who he is as a person, because it’s really, really impressive. I hope he gets the attention that he deserves.”

Reynolds’ fourth career three hit game came after a rare hitless performance the night before. While a bad game would get in some rookies’ heads, manager Clint Hurdle said Reynolds was business as usual.

“[The] 0-4 was an 0-4,” said Hurdle. “...He found out last night he’s in the lineup today. Goes about his work.”

Williams made his first start in 33 days after being sidelined with a side injury. After allowing two runs in the first, the first five Tigers to bat in the third scored as well, with Brandon Dixon and Harold Castro going back-to-back.

After the second home run, Williams struck out the side to end the inning. He finished his night by retiring his final nine batters faced.

“I think there were only two or three misexecuted pitches today,” Williams said. “They made me pay for it. But other than that, I knew I couldn’t let the game get out of hand.”

Williams’ batted balls by pitch location and exit velocity. Courtesy of Baseball Savant.

Williams had seven earned runs and nine hits on his ledger, striking out seven in five innings pitched.

“He got better as he went on,” Hurdle said. “That’s probably going to be the operative as these guys come back. They need to pitch to get better.”

With a variety of pitchers recently reactivated or potentially coming off the injured list in the coming weeks, the Pirates may finally have some fresh arms at their disposal. Williams believes a win like Wednesday could be memorable.

“I think tonight is going to be a turning point for us as a team,” Williams said. “How we came back, how we responded in adversity, especially after a tough loss last night.

“...We’re going to enjoy our off-day tomorrow, get our batteries reset and look forward to this weekend series against the Padres.”

Gold Star

Marte’s contributions to the Bucs weren’t just with the bat Wednesday. He also made a pair of nifty defensive plays.

In the first, he helped Williams out by chasing down a deep fly ball to left-center to end the inning. In the seventh, he made another play with his arm, catching Nicholas Castellanos as he tried to stretch a single into a double.

“On certain nights, you see that he’s one of the best players in the league,” Williams said. “When you get to see him run, hit, field, it’s fun to watch.”

On Deck

The Pirates will get a day off before they welcome the Padres to town this weekend. Joe Musgrove (4-7, 4.87) will pitch against a not yet announced Padre Friday at 7:05 p.m..


1. Kevin Newman extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a sixth inning double.

2. Dickerson is slashing .346/.333/.500 in 26 plate appearances since coming off the IL.

3. There have been six times this season where Reynolds started a game and did not get a hit. In his next game following those hitless performances, he’s slashing .438/.471/.938 with two home runs and a triple (17 PAs).