Luis Ortiz made his major league debut as he got the start for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark.
The 23-year-old Ortiz was impressive as the Pirates (54-88) edged out the Reds 1-0, taking both games of the doubleheader. They won the opener 5-1.
Ortiz was routinely hitting 99 mph with his fastball and hit triple digits on multiple occasions. The right-hander also flashed a pretty sharp slider and mixed in a couple changeups.
In total, Ortiz went 5.2 innings, allowed just one hit, walked three and struck out five. He threw 83 pitches, 56 for strikes.
The only run of the game came in the seventh inning. Kevin Newman singled on an 0-2 pitch with two outs, plating Rodolfo Castro.
Chase De Jong (5-2), Yohan Ramirez and Duane Underwood Jr. combined to throw 3.1 scoreless relief innings. Underwood picked up the first save of his career.
The Bucs’ pitching staff limited Reds’ batters to just one hit — a double from Stuart Fairchild in the third inning.
The Reds (56-85) meanwhile, deployed a bullpen game which gave the Pirates’ batters fits. The Bucs managed just three hits, but were able to push across a run.
In addition to Newman’s single, Castro lined a double and Ben Gamel reached on a single in the fifth, which was the Pirates’ first hit of the game.
Zack Collins made his Pirates’ debut at first base and went 0 for 3 in the win.
Raynel Espinal (0-1) took the loss for Cincinnati. He was also making his MLB debut.
Pittsburgh will look to complete the four-game sweep on Wednesday afternoon at 12:35 p.m.. A pair of impressive rookies will be on the mound as Roansy Contreras (5-4, 3.29 ERA) will pitch for the Pirates opposite left-hander Nick Lodolo (4-5, 3.78 ERA).
- Bringing The Heat: In his major league debut, Ortiz became only the second Pirates starting pitcher to throw a pitch registering 100+ mph since the Statcast era began in 2015. The only other Bucs’ starter to do it was Gerrit Cole in 2017, his final year with the team. Ortiz threw six fastballs 100 mph or faster.
- Power Streak: Castro hit an opposite-field double in the seventh inning to extend his hitting streak to six games, which adds to his career-high. Over those six games, Castro has six hits, four of which have gone for extra-bases (two home runs, two doubles). Castro’s ISO on the season is creeping up towards .200, currently sitting at .195.
- Chance To Take Four: With wins in the first three games of this four-game series with Cincinnati, the Bucs have a chance to complete a four-game sweep. That’s something the Pirates haven’t accomplished since the 2019 season, when Pittsburgh won all four games in Colorado against the Rockies from Aug. 29-Sep. 1.