For the second straight game, the Pittsburgh Pirates slugged three home runs at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati on Tuesday afternoon.
The three homers backed a strong start from Johan Oviedo as the Bucs defeated the Reds 6-1 in the first game of a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon.
It is the third time this season the Pirates (53-88) hit three homers in back-to-back games, with both other instances coming in June.
As he did in Monday night’s win, Bryan Reynolds gave the Pirates the first run of the game. His third-inning single plated Michael Chavis and put the Pirates ahead 1-0.
Also as he did in Monday’s win, Reynolds went deep. Reynolds, who was serving as the team’s designated hitter, slugged a first-pitch fastball in the fifth inning over the fence in right-center for a two-run homer to extend the Pirates’ lead to 3-0.
In the fourth, Ke’Bryan Hayes smacked a 425-foot home run to center, his seventh homer of the season which marks a career-high. The homer was the first for Hayes since Aug. 7.
Cal Mitchell hit a two-run shot to right in the fifth inning. His fifth homer of the year put the Pirates ahead 5-0.
As they did on Monday, all three of Pittsburgh’s home runs came against the Reds’ starter. This time, it was Luis Cessa (3-3), who allowed five runs in 5.2 innings.
Oviedo (3-2) made his third start for the Pirates and picked up his first win in the black and gold. He held the Reds scoreless over five innings, allowed one hit, walked two and struck out four.
The Reds (56-84) scored off of Pirates reliever Zach Thompson in the sixth when Kyle Farmer bounced out to third, allowing TJ Friedl to trot home.
The Pirates added another run in the ninth when Hayes and Ben Gamel hit back-to-back doubles, giving both players a pair of hits on the afternoon.
Chavis doubled as part of a two-hit performance in the win. Tyler Heineman extended his hitting streak to five games with an eighth-inning single.
The second game of the doubleheader will begin at 6:35 p.m. Luis Ortiz will make his major league debut on the mound for the Pirates. The Reds have yet to announce a starter.
- Better Outing For Oviedo: In his first two starts with the Pirates, Oviedo struggled with control and efficiency. He didn’t get past the third inning in either of those starts and issued eight free passes. The big right-hander fared much better in this one, only walking two batters (consecutively in the third inning) and was efficient.
- Cal’s Been Crushing It: In nine games since being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis, Mitchell has at least one hit in eight of those contests. Over that span, Mitchell is batting .407 (11 for 27) with two doubles, a home run and five walks against just five strikeouts. Thanks to that stretch, Mitchell has raised his OPS on the year from .577 to .666.
- Push To 25: Reynolds’ solo home run was his 23rd round-tripper of the season, putting him just two shy of the quarter century mark. Reynolds is looking to become the first Pirates’ player to hit 25 home runs in a season since Josh Bell had 37 in 2019. Prior to that, the last time Pittsburgh had a player with 25 home runs in one year was in 2017 when Andrew McCutchen (28) and Bell (26) accomplished the feat.