PITTSBURGH — Roansy Contreras had one of the best starts of his young career for the Pittsburgh Pirates as they took down the Cincinnati Reds 4-3 on Thursday night at PNC Park.
Contreras (2-1) made it 10 straight quality starts for Pirates’ pitchers after allowing just one run over 6.2 innings of work. He yielded five hits, walked a pair and struck out eight batters in the win.
The last time the Pirates had 10 straight quality starts was from June 7-19, 2015 when the staff posted 12 in a row.
Contreras set a season high in both strikeouts and innings and it marked the first time the right-hander worked into the seventh inning since Aug. 22 of last year, when he completed seven innings against the Atlanta Braves.
It took until the seventh inning for the Reds (7-12) to find the scoreboard against Contreras. Jason Vosler looped a single into shallow-center field allowing Jake Fraley to score.
The Pirates (13-7) opened up the home half of the first in a big way for the second straight game. With two runners on, two outs and a full count, Connor Joe hit a three-run homer into the bullpens in center field to give the Pirates an early 3-0 lead.
Jack Suwinski followed Joe’s homer with a solo shot to right, his fifth home run of the year. For Suwinski, it was his fourth round-tripper in as many games.
The back-to-back home runs marked the second time the Pirates have accomplished the feat this season. Joe and Rodolfo Castro went back-to-back on Apr. 13 against St. Louis.
Both home runs came against Reds starter Luke Weaver (0-1), who made his season debut. After the first inning, Weaver held the Pirates scoreless through his next five innings on the mound.
Colin Holderman was scored upon for the first time this season as he allowed a pair of runs in the eighth inning. Jonathan India drove in a run with a base hit and came around to score on a Spencer Steer sacrifice fly to left field.
David Bednar, who entered play tied for the league with five saves, converted his sixth save of the year to seal the victory.
The win was the fourth in a row for Pittsburgh and their fifth in their last six games.
The Pirates and Reds will continue their four-game series on Friday night. Mitch Keller (1-0, 3.80 ERA) will get the ball for Pittsburgh. He will be opposed by Reds right-hander Graham Ashcraft (2-0, 1.42 ERA). First pitch: 6:35.