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Votto, Castellanos Lead Reds in 13-1 Blowout Win Over Pirates

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It’s not very often that there is a Monday afternoon game on the schedule and in this one, the Pirates probably wish there wasn’t one. The Reds and Pirates got together to make up for last Wednesday’s rainout on a warm and sunny day in Cincinnati. Joey Votto, Nick Castellanos and the rest of the Reds’ offense clobbered the Pirates and beat Pittsburgh 13-1 at Great American Ballpark.

Connor Overton was given the nod in this one for the Pirates and was hit around in his one winning of work. The Reds erupted for four runs and six hits in the first inning off of Overton, and Votto hit a two-run homer in the inning. Castellanos and Tucker Barnhart also collected RBIs in the inning.

After Castellanos got the Reds on the board again in the fourth with another sacrifice fly, Votto blasted a home run that measured 466 feet to right, his second two-run homer of the game and 35th of the season. Eugenio Suarez followed with a home run of his own, giving the Reds back-to-back jacks and an 8-0 lead.

Castellanos hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning as he recorded five RBIs on the afternoon.  Jonathan India collected four hits for Cincinnati against the Pirates, including a two-run homer in the seventh to put the Reds up a dozen. 

The Reds collected 17 hits on the afternoon, eight of which went four extra bases – three doubles and five home runs.

For the second straight game the Pirates faced a pitcher making his Major League debut, the first time a team has faced a starter making his debut in back-to-back games in the modern era. This time, it was Reiver Sanmartin, who was able to keep the Bucs in check for most of the afternoon. He went 5.2 innings, allowed five hits, just one run, one walk and picked up five strikeouts.

The Pirates got on the board in the fifth when Anthony Alford scored on a wild pitch.

The Bucs head home to PNC Park for a six-game homestand to finish off the 2021 season. They’ll welcome the Cubs into town for a three-game series starting Tuesday. Mitch Keller (5-11, 5.96 ERA) and Alec Mills (6-7, 4.83 ERA) is the scheduled pitching matchup.

Stat of the Game:

  • Overton did not allow a single run through his first 11.2 innings pitched, a span of seven appearances, to begin his Major League career between Toronto and Pittsburgh. He allowed just six hits and issued only three walks. In his last two appearances, however, he has gotten shelled. In those two games spanning 3.2 innings, Overton has been tagged for eight earned runs (19.62 ERA). He’s given up eight hits (two home runs) in those last two times on the mound.

Takeaways:

  • All Good for Alford:¬†With two more hits on Monday, Alford continued his good stretch of baseball ever since being recalled by the Pirates in August. He entered play with an .805 OPS, four doubles, a triple, five home runs and 10 runs driven in his 31 games since coming back up to Pittsburgh. During that span, he’s raised his season OPS from .325 to .720 ¬†He has shown his plus speed and has played well defensively for the most part too. Strikeouts remain a concern, but Alford could very well be playing his way into a roster spot with the Pirates come Opening Day 2022.
  • Votto Feasting on Pirates:¬†For the second time in his last three games vs. the Bucs, Votto git a pair of home runs in the same game. A week ago when the Pirates played the Reds last Monday, Votto went 3 for 3 with two homers, three RBIs and drew a pair of walks. In this one, Votto hit two homers and four runs driven in. Those numbers are in line with the success Votto has had against the Pirates in his career. Entering play, Votto was slashing .305/.422/.491 in 210 career games vs. Pittsburgh.
  • Disappointing Defense:¬†Uncharacteristically, the Pirates made several miscues in the field in this game. The Pirates entered Monday tied with several teams for second in fewest committed (67) in 2021, trailing only the Houston Astros (63). The Bucs were charged with two errors on Monday, one from Colin Moran and one from Cole Tucker and both proved costly.¬†Alford also had a miscue in left field that allowed Suarez to be awarded a double, though it looked like he was going to settle for a single.¬†
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