The Cincinnati Reds dealt the Pittsburgh Pirates their fourth loss in a row Tuesday as they defeated the Bucs 7-1 at PNC Park.
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The offense remains in limbo as Clint Hurdle’s squad left another nine runners on base. They are in fourth place in the National League Central Division with a record of 12-14. In 2014, they were 10-16 after 26 games. The crew of the Jolly Roger are 6-5 at home and 6-9 on the road this season.
The Pirates collected their only run in the home half of the second when Starling Marte sent a line drive to right center off Reds’ starter Michael Lorenzen for his seventh home run. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound leftfielder has hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games.
Over the seven frames he worked, Jeff Locke yielded two earned runs in both the second and third innings. He struck out five and walked just two. The 6-foot, 195-pound lefthander delivered 65 of his 101 pitches for strikes. His record dropped to .500 at 2-2.
The Reds grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the second. Todd Frazier got it started with a fly ball to center for his ninth home run. The next run came from Brayan Pena, when with the bases loaded, he grounded into a double play that scored Brandon Phillips.
Marlon Byrd claimed his fourth home run in the third on a fly ball to left center that brought Billy Hamilton across the plate to give Cincy a 4-1 lead.
Jared Hughes took the hill for the Pirates in the eighth. The 6-foot-7, 245-pound righthander gave up two hits and struck out one. He hurled 11 of his 18 pitches for strikes in keeping the Reds in check.
Cincy added three more runs to the scoreboard in the ninth off Antonio Bastardo. With one out, Hamilton singled on a soft ground ball to Bastardo that brought home Kristopher Negron. Byrd finished the Reds assault of the scoreboard when he secured his third double of the season on a line drive to right that scored Devin Mesoraco and Hamilton.
Lorenzen allowed three hits over six innings. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound righthander walked three and struck out four. He fired 53 of his 93 pitches for strikes in getting his record to 1-1.
Up Next: The Pirates and Reds meet in middle contest of their three-game series Wednesday. The first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. The Reds will go with righthander Mike Leak (1-1, 3.03 ERA) and the Bucs will send Gerrit Cole (4-0, 1.76 ERA).
The 24-year-old will be making his sixth start of the season. His last start was an 8-1 victory Wednesday against the Cubs in Chicago. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound righthander is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three career starts against Cincy. The game will be on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.
From The Clipboard: The time of the game was 2:50 and 16,822 were in attendance at PNC Park…Pittsburgh has gone 9-8 in their last 17 contests…Cole was named the National League Pitcher of the Month for April…With Sunday’s homer, Pedro Alvarez tied Hall of Famer Paul Waner and former outfielder Bill Robinson for 17th place on the Pirates all-time home run list with 109.