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Pirates earn split with Reds in Saturday doubleheader

It was a rough start but the day ended well.

MLB: Game Two-Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates took home a split on Saturday, dropping the first game to the Cincinnati Reds despite a beauty of a start from JT Brubaker.

Brubaker went five innings (the Derek Shelton magic number!), giving up two runs on three hits with two walks and nine strikeouts, but catcher Andrew Knapp was ejected and Roberto Perez was put out with an injury in the eighth inning, leaving Josh VanMeter at catcher, which effected Wil Crowe on the mound.

Crowe took the loss to fall to 1-2 on the year, giving up a two-run double to Tyler Stephenson that got a big inning rolling for the Reds, and the Bucs couldn’t recover in a 9-2 defeat.

Ben Gamel went 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI double, and Perez was 2-for-3 with the run scored on Gamel’s double before the injury to lead things at the plate for the Buccos.

The Pirates got their revenge in the nightcap, however, as Gamel stayed hot and Yoshi Tsutsugo finally showed some signs of life to help offset another poor start by Mitch Keller in an 8-5 Bucco victory.

Gamel went 2-for-5 with a run scored and two RBIs, including this moon shot dinger.

Yoshi was just 1-for-4, but he hit his first homer of year early on to help put the Buccos up.

Pittsburgh pounded out 13 hits on the evening, including a 2-for-5 performance from Bryan Reynolds and his third homer of the year. Reynolds seems to be getting it together after a really slow start to the season. His solo shot started off the scoring.

Ke’Bryan Hayes went 3-for-5 with a run scored, while Diego Castillo went 2-for-4 and hit a homer of his own. Even Cole Tucker got in on the act, going 2-for-5 on the day.

On the mound, Keller went four and a third, giving up five runs on six hits, including three walks and three strikeouts, but the Pittsburgh bullpen brought it home, as Heath Hembree took home the win, combining with Max Kranick, Chris Stratton, and David Bednar to give up just one hit the rest of the way. Bednar struck out the side in the ninth for his fourth save of the year.

The rubber match takes place today at 1:40pm.