The Pittsburgh Pirates pitching staff got a boost on Thursday with the promotion of Brandon Cumpton, but their futile offense cost them once again as the Bucs were beaten 2-1 by the Cincinnati Reds, their 11th loss in their past 14 games.
The Pirates scored an early run in the first off of Cincinnati starter Tony Cingrani when Pedro Alvarez singled in Neil Walker, but the Bucs managed to score only four runs the final three games of the series as the Reds came into PNC Park and took three of four games.
The Pirates made Cingrani (2-2) throw a lot of pitches as he lasted only six innings, allowing the run on six hits striking out seven. The Bucs managed to have two runners on in the second with no outs and two on in the sixth with one out, but couldn’t muster a big hit when they needed one.
The Reds bullpen allowed only one base runner the final three innings. Sam LeCure struck out the side in the eighth and Jonathan Broxton retired the Pirates in order in the ninth to record his fourth save of the season.
The one positive on the afternoon though for the Pirates was the performance of Cumpton (0-1).
The youngster allowed only two runs and four hits through seven innings, striking out five on the afternoon. He more than gave the Pirates a chance to win the game.
He ran into trouble in the sixth when he hit both Joey Votto and Todd Frazier with pitches, both with two strikes. Former Pirate Ryan Ludwick followed with a two-run double to give the Reds the lead and supply all the offense they would need.
The Pirates collected seven hits on the afternoon, two of which belonged to Walker.
Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle said after the game that Cumpton would get another start next time through the rotation.
Things don’t get any easier for the Pirates as they will try and snap their skid Friday night in St. Louis.