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Pirates end season on losing note, fall 6-3 to Reds

Ponce surrenders four runs, but Cruz went yard.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

In the final game of the 2021 season, the Cincinnati Reds avoided being swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates as they attacked reliever Cody Ponce and cruised to a 6-3 win on Sunday.

After Mitch Keller held the Reds scoreless in the top of the first, the Pirates displayed a strong offensive effort in the bottom half.

Kevin Newman singled to center and was moved to third on a double by Yoshi Tsutsugo in the following at-bat. Michael Chavis reached in the next at-bat after an out call was overturned and later ruled an infield single.

Anthony Alford walked in the game’s first run a few hitters later, giving the Pirates a temporary lead.

Cincinnati evened the scoring in the third after Nick Castellanos brought home Jonathan India on his 38th double to right field.

Keller was relieved in the fourth by Cody Ponce, who surrendered four earned runs his second inning of work.

Ponce began the frame by fanning Reiver Sanmartin, but hit India in the following at-bat. Max Schrock doubled in the next at-bat, but was initially called out for not touching the base. He would be ruled safe upon further review, and Pirates manager Derek Shelton argued the call, leading to him being ejected from the game.

The Reds would score the aforementioned runs after a single by Aristides Aquino and a three-run home run by Joey Votto.

Aquino added an insurance run in the sixth after hitting his tenth home run off Anthony Banda.

Sensing that the end of the season was near, Oneil Cruz gave the hometown crowd a reason to leave happy by hitting his first career home run off Mychal Givens.

The Pirates end the season 61-101 and they embark on an offseason that should be... interesting.

Writer’s note: I want to say thank you to all of our readers/viewers for joining us this summer. It was not an easy season to endure, but it sure was fun following along with you this season. Thank you so much for welcoming me into the Bucs Dugout community this summer, and I can’t wait to see what next year holds. Enjoy the offseason, everyone! - Jake S.