Homer Bailey struck out a career high 12 batters, however that did not matter as the Pittsburgh Pirates were able to defeat the Cincinnati Reds by a 3-2 score.
In addition, Bailey also threw a career high 121 pitches in his 6 1/3 innings of work. The high pitch count clearly seemed to affect him in the seventh inning when the Pirates broke a tie game by scoring two runs.
After retiring the side in order in the top half of the first inning, Bailey received a rude greeting from Garrett Jones. The result was a solo home run, his 10th of the season. This was the second consecutive game that Jones hit a long ball.
Following the Jones homer, the Pirates bats went cold against the Reds righty and this gave the home team a chance to come back.
Jeff Locke allowed just one hit in his six innings of work; however, he gave up four walks and a wild pitch in the fourth inning allowed Zack Cozart to score to square things at one.
In the seventh inning Bailey appeared to be in cruise control striking out Jones but Michael McKenry pulled a double. He would score when Jordy Mercer hit a single. Reds manager Dusty Baker kept his starter in the game and allowed an infield single to Clint Barmes before the coup de grace first-pitch pinch-hit single by Jose Tabata. Finally Baker removed Bailey from the game.
The bottom half of the inning was just as chaotic as Clint Hurdle channeled his inner Tony LaRussa using Tony Watson, Bryan Morris and Justin Wilson in relief. The tactic worked as the Reds were held off the scoreboard.
In the eighth inning Mark Melancon got into a dangerous situation as he loaded the bases with nobody out. Still he limited the damage allowing one run thanks to a Joey Votto double play and a Brandon Phillips ground out.
Jason Grilli came on with a one run lead in the bottom of the ninth. The first batter he faced was Jay Bruce. Earlier this season Bruce hit a solo homer off Grilli forcing his lone blown save of the season. This time, Grilli got his man with a strikeout.
Grilli allowed the next batter, Todd Frazier, to single. But it didn’t matter as he did not allow another base runner while picking up his 30th save of the season.
The Pirates will continue to take to the road; up next is the Washington Nationals for a four-game series.
Monday- Charlie Morton [1-2 3.19] vs Dan Haren [4-10 5.61]
Tuesday- Gerrit Cole [4-3 3.89] vs Taylor Jordan [0-2 3.32]
Wednesday- Francisco Liriano [9-4 2.44] vs Stephen Strasburg [5-7 2.97]
Thursday- A.J. Burnett [4-7 3.07] vs Gio Gonzalez [7-3 2.89]