The Pittsburgh Pirates (11-24) and Cincinnati Reds (16-21) opened up a four game series with doubleheader action late Friday afternoon at PNC Park. The Pirates would drop game one, 4-2, to the Reds before shifting their focus to game two.
Slated to start game one for Pittsburgh was Steven Brault (0-1), while Luis Castillo (0-5) took the ball for Cincinnati.
The Reds got the scoring started in the second inning when Jose Garcia singled into left field, plating Aristides Aquino, and claiming a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the third inning, the Reds would add a couple more off Brault, with an Eugenio Suarez sacrifice fly and then a Jesse Winker single, each of which plated a runner, pushing Cincinnati’s advantage to three, 3-0.
The Pirates, however, would get on the board in the bottom half of that same inning, thanks to a Colin Moran singled followed by a Gregory Polanco double. Erik Gonzalez and Bryan Reynolds were able to score, drawing the game closer, 3-2.
In the fifth inning, with Brault still on the mound, Nick Castellanos homered (11) to center, extending the Reds’ lead once again, 4-2.
Brault would exit after 4.2 innings pitched, allowing six hits, four runs (three earned), walking a pair, and striking out six. Dovydas Neverauskas received the assignment out of the bullpen, looking to keep the game close. He pitched 1.1 scoreless — one walk and one strikeout.
Castillo, on the other hand, would go on to pitch six innings in a strong performance, allowing seven hits, two runs, two walks, and picking up eight strikeouts.
Tyler Bashlor also made an appearance in an inning of relief, and despite allowing a double and then subsequently tossing a wild pitch, managed to get out of the inning without any real damage done.
Down 4-2, the Pirates would go into the bottom of the seventh with a chance to get back into the game with Raisel Iglesias on the mound. Adam Frazier got the inning started with a single, then Gonzalez grounded into a force out but advanced to second on an error.
Kevin Newman lined out to center after a 10-pitch at bat. Bryan Reynolds stood in as the last chance for the Pirates, representing the tying run, but struck out swinging on three pitches.
The Pirates drop to 11-25 and the Reds improve to 17-21. Castillo got the win (1-5), Brault took the loss (0-2), and Iglesias got the save (5). Cody Ponce is slated to start game two for the Pirates; Trevor Bauer for the Reds.