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Pirates Slug Four Homers in 8-5 Win Over Reds



The Pirates and Reds met again for the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday in Cincinnati. After the Reds took game one, the Pirates blasted four homers, including three in the first inning, in their 8-5 victory, earning a split on the day.

The first homer came from Bryan Reynolds, who hit a line shot the other way to give the Pirates an early 1-0 lead. It was Reynolds’ third homer of the season.

After a Ke’Bryan Hayes double, Yoshi Tsutsugo hit an opposite field homer of his own, his first long ball of the year.

The Pirates went back-to-back as the next batter, Diego Castillo, turned on a fastball and deposited it over the left field fence to give the Pirates a 4-0 lead.

The Reds struck back quickly in the home half of the inning thanks to a Brandon Drury run-scoring double. They added another when Mike Moustakas lined a base hit up the middle, scoring Drury. The inning could have been disastrous for the Bucs, but Jack Suwinski robbed Colin Moran of a game-tying home run to preserve the lead.

The Pirates put up a three spot in the fourth to add on to their lead. Cole Tucker ripped an RBI-double for his second hit of the night. Ben Gamel followed with a two-run shot deep to eight field to extend the Pirates lead to 7-3.

The Reds responded with a three-run inning of their own, all on one swing, a three-run blast off the bat of Brandon Drury.

Mitch Keller wasn’t able to get through five and struggled with control and command. Despite getting strong run support, Keller couldn’t limit the Reds on offense. In total, he worked 4.1 innings, was tagged with five earned runs on six hits and three walks and punched out three. It was a disappointing night for Keller, who looked pretty strong in his past few starts.

The Pirates added an insurance run in the seventh when Suwinski doubled into to left field corner. Tommy Pham had some troubles with it, allowing Daniel Vogelbach to score easily all the way from first.

Five different Pirates recorded multi-hit games; Gamel, Reynolds, Hayes, Castillo and Tucker.

The Pirates bullpen combined to blank the Reds in 4.2 innings of relief and David Bednar picked up his fourth save of the season by striking out the side.

The Bucs will go for the series victory on Sunday. Zach Thompson (1-3, 9.39 ERA) will be on the mound for the Bucs and Tyler Mahle (1-4, 7.01 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Reds.


  • Pittsburgh Lumber Co.: The three home runs in the first inning for the Pirates were impressive enough, but even more so when you consider the fact that it marked the first time that the Bucs have homered three times or more in one game so far this season. It also became the first time in franchise history that the Pirates homered three times in the first inning of a game. The Bucs entered play with just 17 homers on the season, which was tied for the fourth-fewest in the league. After Gamel’s home run, the Pirates hit nearly a quarter of the home runs in this game as they did the entire season prior to first pitch.
  • Red Beard Is Red Hot: After picking up a pair of hits including his long home run, Gamel extended his hitting streak to five games. In those five games, Gamel is 11 for 19 (.579) with three doubles, a triple and a home run. He’s raised his batting average from .224 to .308 and has seen his OPS increase from .629 to .853 during the hot stretch. Sitting atop the Pirates lineup, Gamel has done a good job as a table setter for the offense. 
  • Not Mitch’s Night: In his last three starts prior to this one, Keller posted a 3.38 ERA/3.45 FIP over a span of 16 innings. It looked like Keller might have finally been turning a corner, but the inconsistency that has plagued the right-hander in his career popped up again on Saturday. Keller will need to put this start behind him and string together a stretch of good starts moving forward, as the Pirates need Keller to emerge in the rotation.

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