The Pittsburgh Pirates rallied in the ninth inning and climbed out of the National League Central basement on Friday night.
Michael Chavis’ bases-loaded single capped a two-run rally and lifted the Pirates to a 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the opener of a three-game series at PNC Park.
The Pirates trailed 4-3 going into the ninth but tied it on Kevin Newman’s run-scoring double with one out. The Reds then intentionally walked Bryan Reynolds to put runners on first and second and brought in left-handed reliever Ross Detwiler to replace Joel Kuhnel (2-2).
The move backfired when Detwiler hit Ben Gamel with a pitch to load the bases, and Chavis lined a single into short left field to score Newman. The Pirates have won back-to-back games following a six-game losing streak.
Gamel had three hits. Newman added two hits and two RBIs, and Greg Allen and Bligh Madris also had two hits.
Kyle Farmer’s two-out RBI single in the eighth inning off Wil Crowe snapped a 3-3 tie and put the Reds ahead. Crowe (5-7) wound up getting the win as he bounced back with a scoreless ninth.
The Pirates (47-72) moved ahead of the Reds (46-71) in the division standings.
Bryse Wilson notched a quality start for the Pirates in a no-decision, hurt only by a pair of home run balls. He went seven innings and allowed three runs and five hits while striking out four and walking none.
Wilson’s performance came a night after JT Brubaker pitched seven shutout innings to beat the Boston Red Sox. Wilson and Brubaker became the first Pirates to pitch at least seven innings in consecutive games since Joe Musgrove and Steven Brault in 2019.
Nick Senzel hit a two-run homer off Wilson in the first inning. TJ Friedl connected for a solo shot in the fifth to push the Reds’ lead to 3-0.
However, the Pirates came back to tie it up at 3-3 against Reds starter Graham Ashcraft after the rookie had pitched three-hit ball over five scoreless innings.
Newman scored on a wild pitch in the sixth inning to break up the shutout bid. Gamel was then tagged out in a rundown between third base and home plate later in the inning for the third out.
Gamel made up for his baserunning mishap in the seventh when the Pirates scored two runs to tie it at 3-3. Newman hit a sacrifice fly, then Gamel had a two-out RBI single.
Gamel has knocked in a run in five straight games. That is the longest in-season streak by a Pirates batter since Josh Bell also went five games in a row with an RBI in 2019. Rookie shortstop Oneil Cruz had an RBI in six consecutive games, a streak that stretched over the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
Tyler Beede (1-2, 3.72) will start for the Pittsburgh Pirates at 7:05 p.m. Saturday against Justin Dunn (0-1, 8.64). Beede is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three starts since moving from the bullpen to the rotation.