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Velasquez Shuts Down Reds as Pirates Extend Win Streak to Seven in 2-0 Win

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Vince Velasquez, Pittsburgh Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Vince Velasquez turned in his best start with the Pittsburgh Pirates as they extended their winning streak to seven with a 2-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on Sunday afternoon.

The seven-game winning streak compiled by the Pirates (16-7) is the longest active streak in the league.

Velasquez shutout the Reds (7-15) through seven innings on the mound. He limited the Reds to just two hits – both singles, walked two and struck out 10.

His eight strikeouts were the most he’s had in a game since he struck out 12 San Francisco Giants on May 10, 2018 while with the Phillies and it marked the sixth double-digit strikeout game of his career. 

It’s the second time in his last three starts that Velasquez (3-2) has gone at least six innings without allowing a run as he shutout the Cardinals through six innings on Apr. 13.

Thanks to blanking the Reds over six innings, Velasquez lowered his season ERA to 3.76 through five starts with Pittsburgh.

Colin Holderman worked around a one-out double in the eighth inning to keep the Pirates lead in tact. David Bednar sealed it in the ninth with his eighth save of the season.

Ke’Bryan Hayes opened the bottom of the first inning with a first-pitch double to deep right center. He advanced to third on a Tucupita Marcano and came home to score after Andrew McCutchen bounced into a 5-4-3 double play. 

Other than that, the Pirates were not able to score again off of Hunter Greene (0-1), who went six innings.

Carlos Santana reached on an infield single in the eighth and stole second. Jack Suwisnki doubled him home to add an insurance run and give the Pirates a 2-0 lead. It was Santana’s first stolen base since 2021.

In addition to his double, Suwinski drew a pair of walks and stole two bases. It was his third time drawing multiple walks in a game this season and his first steal of the year. 

McCutchen snapped an 0 for 12 skid at the plate with a single to left in the sixth inning,

With the win, the Pirates conclude a stretch of playing 17 games in 17 days with a record of 12-5 in those contests.

The Pirates will finally have an off day on Monday. After that, the Bucs will host the Los Angeles Dodgers for a three-game series at PNC Park beginning on Tuesday night. For that game, Johan Oviedo (2-1, 2.22 ERA) will be on the mound for the Pirates. The Dodgers will send out Noah Syndergaard (0-3, 4.91 ERA).

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