PITTSBURGH- The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Cincinnati Reds thanks to a huge three-run homer from Jared Triolo late in the game.
Mitch Keller pitched a gem of a game. In six innings pitched, Keller allowed five hits, two runs (one earned), three walks, and struck out seven.
The Pirates were losing throughout most of the game until Triolo came in and pinch-hit for Jason Delay with runners on first and second.
The Pirates won game one of two, 4-2.
Christian Encarnacion-Strand got the Reds going in the top of the fourth with an RBI single to center field, scoring Matt McLain and making it a 1-0 lead.
The fifth inning was the one that stung the most for Keller and the Pirates. With two outs in the inning, McLain delivered an RBI double, scoring Will Benson, who reached on an error earlier in the inning.
The Reds led 2-0.
Alika Williams broke an 0-16 skid as he drove in Henry Davis. Williams’ RBI cut the Reds’ lead in half.
Triolo came up to the plate, pinch-hitting for Jason Delay in the seventh inning. Triolo then blasted a huge three-run homer for the Pirates giving them a permanent 4-2 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, Liover Peguero led off the inning with a walk. Alfonso Rivas then bunted Peguero over, and gave way to Endy Rodriguez, who was pinch hitting for Alika Williams.
Rodriguez drew a full-count walk, and then Triolo came in for Delay, in a very big spot.
Triolo worked a full count, and fought some tough pitches off, but eventually got a mistake pitch down the middle from Alex Young.
Young left a hanging changeup over the middle and Triolo blasted his first ever home run in the majors, and the rest is history.
Star of the Game:
Jared Triolo, for obvious reasons.
Stat of Interest:
Triolo became the 23rd Pirates’ player to hit his first career homer while pinch hitting. The last Pirate to hit his first homer as a pinch hitter was Rodolfo Castro on July 9, 2021.
To keep the Triolo theme going, he is now the seventh Pirates’ player to hit his first career homer during the 2023 season for the Pirates. The others to achieve this are Ji-Hwan Bae, Henry Davis, Nick Gonzalez, Josh Palacios, Peguero, and Rodriguez.
In addition, that home run was Triolo’s first extra-base hit since July 7.
The Pirates have the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader to complete before heading to New York to play the Mets.
Andre Jackson (0-0, 5.16 ERA) will start for the Pirates in game two and face Luke Weaver (2-4, 6.75 ERA). In addition, the Pittsburgh Pirates will wear their Negro League jerseys in game two of the doubleheader.