In the eighth inning, Pirates catcher Roberto Perez left the game after an apparent left leg injury and needed help off of the field. Because Andrew Knapp has been ejected earlier, Josh VanMeter had to fill in as the catcher.
All of this set up for a bases-loaded no-out situation for the Reds in the bottom of the eighth. With VanMeter catching, there were a few ball calls that should’ve been strikes for reliever Wil Crowe.
On a 3-2 count, Tyler Stephenson delivered a two-run double giving the Reds a 4-2 lead, and that proved to be enough for them to win the game. The Reds scored five more runs and won the game 9-2.
In the bottom of the first, the Reds got two runs on the board thanks to a Tyler Stephenson double down the third baseline scoring Brandon Drury and Mike Moustakas, giving the Reds a 2-0 lead.
JT Brubaker had a marvelous day in Cincinnati despite the first-inning woes. Brubaker’s slider/sinker combo helped him induce 12 swings and misses and he struck out nine.
Brubaker’s final line read five innings pitched, three hits, two earned runs, two walks, one hit batter, and nine strikeouts. This now marks three games in a row that Brubaker gave Pirates fans a good feeling when exiting the game.
After a two-out Roberto Perez single, Ben Gamel came to the plate and delivered the Pirates’ first run of the day with a double down the first baseline. That Gamel double cut the Reds’ lead in half and made it 2-1.
A 99 mph Ke’Bryan Hayes single to center field allowed Gamel to score in the sixth inning, knotting the game up at 2-2, letting starting pitcher Brubaker off the hook for the loss.
Brubaker Was Solid: After an extremely rough start to the season, Brubaker has settled into a nice groove in his last three starts. Brubaker’s slider has been a useful tool inducing seven whiffs Saturday afternoon.
Who’s the Backup for Game Two?: The Pirates Triple-A team in Indianapolis is approximately two hours away from Cincinnati. Could we see some speeding tickets to get someone up quickly?
Game Was Closer Than It Looks: Yes, the score was 9-2, but Wil Crowe would’ve had a much better shot at giving the Pirates a chance in the ninth if it weren’t for a Roberto Perez injury inning to take the lead.