After outfielder Max Schrock singled home the tying run in the top of the eighth, the Pittsburgh Pirates, aided by a Cole Tucker grand slam, posted eight runs in the bottom half and went on to win, 9-2, over the Cincinnati Reds Friday night.
Yoshi Tsutsugo traded an out for a run in the first, plating Tucker on a groundout to shortstop Jose Barrero. Wil Crowe would hold the lead through six innings while limiting the Reds to one hit and posting a career-high nine strikeouts.
During that stretch, Tucker made not one...
...but two highlight reel plays on defense.
The Reds would tie the game on the aforementioned single in the top of the eighth, but then the Pirates offense took advantage of the Reds’ bullpen in the bottom half.
Pittsburgh set the table by loading the bases after three singles by Tsutsugo, Colin Moran and Anthony Alford. Tsutsugo would come in to score after an errant pitch by reliever Michael Lorenzen. After a walk to Michael Perez, Kevin Newman plated two more with his third hit of the night.
Hoy Park would drive in Michael Perez with a single to right field, and Tucker ended his dominant performance a few batters later with his first career grand slam.
HAVE YOURSELF A GAME, COLE TUCKER!!! pic.twitter.com/wEAxh0EuZJ— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) October 2, 2021
The Reds would tally a run in the ninth of closer David Bednar after Barrero drove in Eugenio Suarez on a triple to center field, but Bednar forced T.J. Friedl to pop out to shortstop to end the game.
With the win, the Pirates move to 60-100 on the year and take game one of the final series of the regular season. Game two is tomorrow night, with Max Kranick slated to pitch for Pittsburgh.