The Pirates entered Thursday’s game against the Reds looking for their first sweep of the season after failing to convert their prior 13 attempts this year. Pittsburgh again could not earn a series sweep as Tyler Mahle led the Reds to a 1-0 victory over the Pirates in a pitchers’ duel at PNC Park.
The Pirates last sweep came las August when they took three games from the Milwaukee Brewers.
Mahle threw six scoreless frames, giving up five hits, all singles, walked a batter and struck out four. Mahle continues his great year, lowering his season ERA to 3.59 and picked up his 12th win of the season.
Reds’ pitching didn’t allow a hit when the Pirates had a runner in scoring position, with the Bucs going 0 for 0. The Pirates had a chance with two on and two out in the ninth, but Mychal Givens struck out Hoy Park.
For the Pirates, Connor Overton made his first career start and pitched three strong innings. He held the Reds scoreless, allowed two hits, one walk and struck out three. Overton was aggressive in the strike zone, throwing 31 of his 42 pitches for strikes.
The Bucs’ bullpen did good work, as Sam Howard, Cody Ponce, Chasen Shreve and Shelby Miller combined to give up one run in six innings.
The only run of the game didn’t come until the sixth inning when pinch hitter Asdrubal Cabrera hit a sacrifice fly to Ben Gamel, allowing Delino DeShields Jr. to trot home.
Gamel and Ke’Bryan Hayes each collected a pair of hits on the day, and Park picked up his first career stolen base.
The Pirates head down to Miami for a weekend series with the Marlins. Wil Crowe (3-7, 5.97 ERA) will square off with Elieser Hernandez (1-1, 4.14 ERA) with 7:10 first pitch.
Stat of the Game
- After taking two out of three from the Detroit Tigers and Washington Nationals in the first two series of this homestand, the Pirates also took two out of three from the Reds. The 6-3 homestand marked the first time the Pirates won three straight series since April 16-25, taking two out of three from Milwaukee, Detroit and and Minnesota in what was a nine-game road trip.
- The More The Merrier: With two more hits on Thursday, Ke’Bryan Hayes now has had five multi-hit games in his last nine played. Over those nine games, Hayes is hitting .351 (13 for 37). Hayes has played 10 straight games atop the Pirates’ lineup and has collected hits in eight of those 10 games, and has raised his average 12 points (.245 to .257). The only problem for Hayes has been that he has not been hitting for power, with only one extra-base hit (a double on Sep. 5) in those 10 games.
- Friendly Confines: On the year at PNC Park, the Pirates have a decent showing, posting a 34-41 record (.453). However, on the road, the Pirates are just 20-51 (.282). That’s the second worst road record in Major League Baseball, trailing only the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have gone 19-56 (.253) away from Chase Field in Arizona. The D-backs broke a Major League record for longest road losing streak earlier this season, dropping 24 in a row.
- Can’t Capitalize: Entering play, the Pirates ranked dead last in quite a few offensive categories with runners in scoring position in the Major Leagues. The rank 30th in average, on base percentage, slugging percentage and home runs (tied with Baltimore) with runners at second and/or third base. On Wednesday, the Pirates went hitless in these situations, and the offense squandered a few opportunities.