Trevor finally got his studliness on, posting his first Williams since his first start of the season as he fired six scoreless innings, looking much like the pitcher of the second half of 2018 as the Pirates piled on the Cincinnati bullpen in a 14-0 romp at PNC Park.
Williams allowed just three singles and one walk in his six innings, lifted after 84 pitches once the Pirates had built a big lead.
The Reds’ Alex Wood looked like his old self, keeping the Pirates off balance for five innings, but they manage to scrape together a pair of runs in the third when Jacob Stallings singled and Kevin Newman walked and with two outs Bryan Reynolds’ looping fly ball dropped down the right field line. Stallings scored easily then Newman came home as well when the throw in glanced off the glove of first baseman Derek Dietrich and rolled untouched through the infield.
Tailing 2-0, things fell apart for Wood and the Reds in the bottom of the sixth. Wood walked both Newman and Reynolds, then after Starling Marte grounded into a force, Josh Bell was hit by a pitch to load the bases and drive Wood from the game.
With the bases loaded and one out, Jose Osuna singled to drive in the first run of the inning when his grounder was knocked down behind the bag by second baseman Freddy Galvis. Colin Moran then stepped in to bat for Pablo Reyes and on a 2-2 pitch smashed a grand slam deep into the right field seats, the Pirates’ tenth pinch-hit home run of the season.
The Pirates added three more runs in the seventh, extending their lead to 10-0 when Reynolds singled, Starling Marte was hit by a pitch and Bell sliced a ball inside the left field foul pole for his 32nd home run of the year, giving him 102 RBI.
They piled on four more in the eighth to make it their most lopsided shutout victory since 2003 on RBI singles by pinch-hitter Adam Frazier and Newman, and they both scored when Marte’s high fly to left fell in front of left fielder Josh van Meter, who had retreated to the warning track, and was generously scored a double.
Parker Markel was trusted to pitch the ninth with a 14-0 lead and escaped without a run, throwing 27 pitches to five batters, ending the inning on a generous strike three call against Dietrich by an umpire who just wanted to end it all.
The Pirates have now won two in a row and three of theri last five, climbing to within 6 1⁄2 games of the next to last place Reds but keeping their hold on the sixth spot in next year’s draft.
The two teams will conclude the series at 1:35 p.m. Eastern on Sunday as the Reds’ newly acquired Trevor Bauer (10-10, 4.06) will face a pitcher yet to be determined by the Pirates, but likely to be rookie right-hander Dario Agrazal (2-3, 4.09)