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Dillon Peters was Superb; Pirates Hold Off Reds 6-5

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When the Pirates acquired Dillon Peters from the Los Angeles Angels in July, he did not necessarily come with a lot of expectations. With a career ERA of 5.83 in 132.2ip, it seemed the Pirates were just acquiring some pitching depth for the second half of the season.

However, Peters has been so much more than that since being recalled just over a month ago, and his start on Tuesday night was his best yet, paving the way to a Pirates 6-5 win over the Reds at PNC Park. Peters picked up his first win in a Pirates uniform. 

Peters shutout the Reds through five innings of work, allowing five hits and walking just one batter. He put the Reds’ hitters in a rocking chair mixing up speeds and struck out 5.

The Bucs’ bats handed Peters an early lead allowing him to attack hitters comfortably and he was aggressive as over 71% of his pitches went for strikes (80 pitches/57 strikes).

The Pirates struck three times in the first inning thanks to RBI singles from Yoshi Tsutsugo, Jacob Stallings and Ben Gamel. It marked the first time the Bucs were able to score off of Reds’ starter Wade Miley this season, after Miley posted zeroes in his 13 innings spanning two starts against Pittsburgh. The Bucs jumped out to an early 3-0 lead.

The Bucs tacked on three more in the fifth when Tsutsugo drove in his second run of the game and Bryan Reynolds was able to score after the throw in to third hit his arm and got away. Stallings doubled home Tsutsugo one batter later, extending the Pirates lead to 6-0.

For the Reds, Miley lasted just 4.2 innings and surrendered six runs (five earned) on 10 hits.

The Reds got on the board in the sixth when Tucker Barnhart dropped a bloop single into right field that plated a pair. Jonathan India legged out a double play ball cutting the Pirates’ lead in half, before Ben Gamel couldn’t come up with a ball in right field as Kyle Farmer trimmed the Pirates’ lead to 6-4. Nick Mears eventually got out of the inning after facing nine batters and being tagged with four earned runs.

Nick Castellanos hit a solo shot in the ninth to make it a one-run game, but Chris Stratton was able to pick up the save.

The middle game of the three-game set with the Reds is set for tomorrow with a 6:35 first pitch. Mitch Keller (4-11, 6.29 ERA) is scheduled to square off with Vladimir Gutierrez (9-6, 4.05 ERA).

Stat of the Game:

  • Peters has been darn good since joining the Pirates. After going five scoreless on Tuesday night, Peters now carries a 2.67 ERA in five starts with Pittsburgh. This was the first time Peters put up a zero in a start since July 21, 2019 vs. Seattle – he also went five innings in that game. Peters does an excellent job keeping opposing batters off balance with what seems to be a very effective changeup.

Takeaways:

  • September Swingin’: Both Ke’Bryan Hayes and Reynolds have been hot at the plate in September. In eight games for Hayes, he’s batting .364 (12 for 33) with a double and four runs driven in. Since Sep. 5, Reynolds is batting .321 (9 for 28) with two doubles, two homers, eight runs driven in and six walks in his eight games. It’s no coincidence that this has led to the Pirates offense being more productive, averaging 4.92 runs per game in 12 September games compared to 3.68 runs per game on the year.
  • New-man of Late: After a 12-pitch at-bat, Kevin Newman lined a single up the middle to extend his hitting streak to seven games. It’s no secret that Newman has had his struggles at the plate this season, but during this seven game stretch, Newman is batting .429 (9 for 21) with a double, a triple and a homer and four runs batted in. He will be looking to continue to stay hot down the stretch and build some momentum going into next season.
  • Channeling the Great One: After being named the Pirates’ 2021 Roberto Clemente Award nominee, Stallings enjoyed a solid day at the plate. He picked up a pair of hits – once of which was a double, and two RBIs to help pace the Pirates’ offense. The double marked just the fourth extra-base hit (all doubles) since he hit a walk-off grand slam against the Mets back on July 17. Stallings will be recognized on the field pregame prior to Wednesday’s game on Roberto Clemente Day.
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