PIRATES 6 – REDS 5
Win: Tony Watson (1-0)
Lose: J.J. Hoover (0-3)
Save: Jason Grilli (4)
Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning and drove in three runs leading the Pittsburgh Pirates (4-6) to a 6-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds (5-5) on Friday night in front of 24,366.
In a game where the Pirates jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the second inning, the Pirates would end up showing some fight to prevail against a Reds team that has been in their heads.
Down 5-1, the Reds slowly clawed back as Devin Mesoraco drove in a run with a groundout in the fourth and then hit an RBI double in the sixth to cut the Pirates lead to 5-3.
Pirates starter A.J. Burnett went six innings, allowing six hits and three runs in another solid outing. Burnett struck out eight and walked three, putting the game in the hands of the bullpen.
Lefty Tony Watson would falter leaving a 2-2 pitch to Brandon Phillips right down the middle and Phillips belted a two run homer 413 feet to center, his second of the game to tie the game at 5-5.
In a situation where you needed your star player to come up with a big hit and take momentum back, McCutchen did exactly that, delivering a homer to left off a 1-2 pitch from J.J. Hoover as the Pirates took back the lead and didn’t give it up as relievers Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli would shut the door in the eighth and ninth innings.
“It shows we aren’t going to wait around and that we’re a team that’s going to fight,” McCutchen said. “Just because they tied the game up after we had a four run lead doesn’t mean we’re going to give up.”
*Andrew McCutchen’s (.265 – 2 HR – 9 RBI) night: 2-4, 3 RBIs, 1 Run
*Starling Marte (.350 – 0 HR – 4 RBI) continues to shine, going 2-4 with a run scored and stolen base. Marte also made a beautiful play in the field and has registered multi-hits in six straight games.
The Pirates 1-4 hitters, Starling Marte (2-4, R, SB), Neil Walker (2-4, 2 RBIs, 2 R, 2 BB), Andrew McCutchen (2-4, 3 RBIs, R) and Garrett Jones (2-4, 2B) went a combined 8-16 with 5 RBIs.
*A.J. Burnett (0-2, 3.71) failed to get the win but posted a third straight solid start. He is not going deep into games but now has 27 strikeouts in three games.
*Mark Melancon (0.00 ERA, 3 HLD) and Jason Grilli (0.00 ERA, 4 Saves) continue to shine to start the year. Melancon threw another 1-2-3 eighth inning, striking out one and Grilli threw a scoreless ninth inning, allowing one hit and striking out two to record his 4th save of the season. In six innings pitched, Melancon has allowed two hits, no runs, no walks and has struck out 6 and has 3 holds.
2B: Garrett Jones (1, J.J Hoover)
HR: Andrew McCutchen (2, 7th inning off J.J. Hoover 0 on, 0 Out)
RBIs: Russell Martin (1), Neil Walker 2 (4), Andrew McCutchen 3 (9)
2-out RBI: Russell Martin
GIDP: Russell Martin, Clint Barmes
Pirates RISP: 4-11 (Clint Barmes 1-2, Garrett Jones 0-1, Neil Walker 1-1, Jose Tabata 0-1, Andrew McCutchen 1-2, Russell Martin 1-3, Pedro Alvarez 0-1)