It is no secret that the Pittsburgh Pirates have had a rough start to the season, being one of the worse offensive clubs in baseball. But they looked liked a well oiled machine Friday night against the Cincinnati Reds. The Pirates busted out 12 hits, en route to beating the Reds 6-5 in the first game of a three-game series.
The Bucs started the scoring early as Russell Martin brought home Neil Walker for his first RBI as a Pirates in the first inning. But the lead didn’t last long as A.J. Burnett would give up a homer to Brandon Phillips leading off the second inning. The homer was his third of the season.
However, the Pirates wouldn’t let that discourage them. In the bottom of the second inning the Pirates did most of their damage against Reds’ starter Mike Leake. The Pirates scored four runs on five hits. The big hits came off the bats of Walker and Andrew McCutchen as they both drove in two runs with singles.
Burnett didn’t have his best command tonight but pitched well enough to get the win. Burnett went six solid innings giving up three runs while striking out eight batters.
The Reds didn’t care that the Pirates had a four run lead with their ace on the mound. They kept chipping away at the Pirates lead with single runs in the fourth and sixth innings. But the big blow came in the seventh inning off the bat of Phillips. On a 2-2 pitch Phillips would connect with his second homer of the game and fourth of the season to tie the game at five.
However, McCutchen would not allow his team to lose as he lead off the bottom of the seventh with a his second homer of the season, giving the Bucs a 6-5 lead.
Jason Grilli ran into some trouble in the ninth as he allowed the tying and winning runs to reach base, but was able to strike out Phillips to end the game and lock up his fourth save of the season.
Starling Marte continued his hot hitting with two more hits tonight. Making it six straight game with two or more hits.
The Pirates will look to continue their winning ways tomorrow night when Jeff Locke takes the mound for the Bucs.