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Pirates Top Games of 2023: No. 2 - Pirates mount historic comeback against Reds

It’s February 2024 and I still can’t believe they pulled it off!

Pittsburgh Pirates v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

We’re in the final leg of our countdown of the top Pittsburgh Pirates games from 2023 and our penultimate contest features the biggest comeback in franchise history as the Bucs rallied to beat the Cincinnati Reds, 13-12, on Sept. 23.

Embracing the “spoiler” role, the Pirates were determined to set the Reds back in the NL Wild Card race and they did with several clutch moments.

After Bailey Falter allowed eight earned runs and nine hits in just two innings, Alfonso Rivas sparked the rally with a single in the fourth that got them on the board. Ji hwan Bae and Joshua Palacios singled home two runs in the sixth, then Bryan Reynolds added three more with a home run to right.

Rivas tied the game in the seventh with a bases clearing double down the right field line, then he, Bae and Jack Suwinski pushed the Pirates ahead with four runs in the eighth.

Dauri Moreta and Jose Hernandez provided four-and-two-thirds innings of shutout relief and Colin Selby got through the eighth despite giving up a run. This allowed Carmen Mlodzinski the opportunity to lock down the game in the ninth, which he did after coughing up a run and two hits.

Rivas posted his best game in his short stint in Pittsburgh, going 3-for-5 with five RBI. Jared Triolo was an underrated factor in the game as his piled in four hits.

Entering the game, the Pirates were 0-for-189 when trailing by nine or more, but as the old saying goes: streaks were meant to be broken.