Rodolfo Castro and Oneil Cruz each hit home runs and the Pittsburgh Pirates rolled to a 10-4 victory over the Reds on Wednesday afternoon to sweep a four-game series at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
It was the Pirates’ first four-game sweep since 2019 against the Colorado Rockies in Denver. They hadn’t swept a four-game series in Cincinnati since 1991 at Riverfront Stadium.
The Pirates (55-88) also took another step towards getting out of last place in the National League Central. They now trail the fourth-place Reds (56-86) by 1.5 games.
Castro hit a three-run blast in the third inning to put the Pirates ahead for good at 3-1. Cruz’s two-run shot in the eighth made it 6-2.
Castro finished with two hits and four RBIs. Ke’Bryan Hayes had three of the Pirates’ 12 hits and Bryan Reynolds added two.
Tyler Beede (2-5) got the win in relief as he yielded one run in two innings after replacing starter Roansy Contreras. Miguel Yajure pitched the final three innings for his first career save.
Contreras lasted four innings and threw 55 pitches as the Pirates intentionally shortened his start to monitor his season workload. He gave up one run on three hits while striking out three and walking none.
Contreras allowed his only run in the second inning when Spencer Steer hit an RBI single to open the scoring.
After Castro’s homer put the Pirates ahead, the Reds closed the gap to 3-2 in the fifth on Austin Romine’s solo home run off Beede.
Hayes’ RBI single in the seventh gave the Pirates a two-run cushion and Cruz’s homer made it 6-2 an inning later. They turned it into a rout with a four-run ninth that was highlighted by Michael Chavis’ two-run single that followed an RBI single by Castro while another run scored on an error by right fielder Aristides Aquino.
Kyle Farmer homered in the eighth for the Reds off Yajure and Jose Barrero drove in a run with a groundout in the ninth.
The Pirates open a four-game series with the Mets at 7:20 p.m. Thursday with JT Brubaker (3-11, 4.36) starting against Carlos Carrasco (14-6, 3.80).