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Pirates Blow 5-Run Lead; Joey Votto Powers Reds to 9-5 Win

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The Pirates had an early five-run lead against the Reds, but led by Joey Votto’s two-homer night, Cincinnati came back to defeat the Pirates 9-5 at Great American Ballpark. 

The night started on the right food for the Pirates when struck twice in the first inning thanks to back-to-back home runs from Yoshi Tsutsugo and Bryan Reynolds. The Bucs had a 2-0 lead just three batters into the game.

Tsutsugo and Reynolds each picked up another RBI en route to a three-run Pirates’ third inning. Tsutsugo singled to center field and Peters came around to score, and Bryan Reynolds plated Cole Tucker with a sac fly on the next pitch. Kevin Newman legged out a fielder’s choice to give the Pirates a 5-0 lead.

Pirates’ starter Dillon Peters cruised through two innings, but ran into trouble in the third after issuing a two-out walk to Jonathan India. The Reds put together a two-out rally in the third. Nick Castellanos plated a pair with a double off the center field wall. Then came up Votto, who hit a two-run shot over the right field wall making it a 5-4 ballgame.

Peters lasted just three innings and was tagged with four earned runs. He allowed four hits, walked two and struck out three. Cody Ponce came in relief to begin the fourth.

Votto hit his second homer of the game, this one a solo homer off Ponce, that tied the game at five a piece. It marked the fourth time Votto had a two-homer game in 2021. Votto collected three hits and reached base safely all five times he stepped up to the plate.

Eugenio Suarez followed Votto with a solo shot of his own, giving the Reds back-to back homers and their first lead of the game.

Kyle Farmer extended the Reds’ lead to 7-5 with his 15th homer of the season. On the night, Pirates’ pitching served up four home runs to the Reds. The Reds worked the bases loaded off Kyle Keller, before Enyel De Los Santos came out of the bullpen and promptly walked in a run. Castellanos drove in another run in the eight with a single off De Los Santos in the eighth inning.

The Reds retired 13 straight Pirates’ batters before Ben Gamel led off the ninth with a double

Game two of the three game series will be on Tuesday night. Mitch Keller (4-11, 6.14 ERA) gets the nod for the Pirates opposite Tyler Mahle (12-5, 3.59 ERA) for the Reds.

Stat of the Game:

  • With another scoreless inning of work in this one, Connor Overton extended his Major League record for most career innings pitched (11.2) without allowing an earned run. Former Pirate Tim Jones held the honor after throwing all 10 of his career innings with the Pirates in 1977 without giving up a run. Once Overton eventually allows a run, Jones will reclaim the honor, but a neat little stat none the less. Overton has looked good in his small sample with the Pirates after coming over from the Blue Jays earlier this month. (Stat from Joe Block via Twitter)

Takeaways: 

  • Back-to-Back: The back-to-back homers from Tsutsugo and Reynolds in the first inning mark the sixth time the Pirates have accomplished that feat this season. The last time they did it was the third of this month when Anthony Alford and Hoy Park each blasted 450+ foot homers against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. For Tsutsugo, that was his first home run since Sept. 5 and for Reynolds, just his third long ball since Aug. 14. Reynolds needs one more home run to reach 25 for the season and three more to reach 50 in his career.
  • Hot Cole: After picking up another hit with a third-inning single, Tucker has a four-game hitting streak. In those four games, Tucker is batting .467 (7 for 16) with a double, a triple a pair of RBIs and five runs scored. Tucker is batting .264 (14 for 53) in the month of September and has showcased his versatility, appearing at shortstop, second base and all three outfield positions during the month. 
  • (Not So) Great American Ballpark: With the loss on Monday night, the Pirates have now dropped 13 straight games on Cincinnati’s home field. Monday’s loss marked the eighth loss at GABP for the Bucs this season, and Pittsburgh also dropped their final five there in 2020. The Pirates last win in Cincinnati came in a 9-6 victory on 8/13/20. The Pirates last winning record in Cincinnati came in 2018 when they went 6-3.
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