Wil Crowe served up three gopher balls in the first two innings and the Reds rode that outburst to a 7-4 win over the Pirates. The game was the opener of a four-game series in Cincinnati.
The game was effectively much over quickly. The first batter Crowe faced, Jonathan India, went deep. In the second, Crowe gave up a pair of three-run bombs, one to Eugenio Suarez, the other to Joey Votto. An error by Wilmer Difo on the inning’s second batter led to four of the runs being unearned. Crowe ended up going four innings. He’s now allowed 18 home runs in 75.2 IP. I’m pretty sure that’s very bad.
The Pirates got nowhere with Sonny Gray for the first four innings. In the fifth, though, they sort of made a game of it in the only way they can.
A one-out walk to Jacob Stallings and a double by Difo got them started. Then Pirate Power really showed up. Pinch hitter Phillip Evans hit a little roller to short that went for an infield hit that scored one run. Hoy Park got an infield hit toward first to load the bases. And Kevin Newman grounded one off the shortstop’s glove to bring in a second run. After the three straight infield hits, Bryan Reynolds brought in a run with a force out and Ke’Bryan Hayes singled through the middle to make the score 7-4. Hayes’ hit broke an 0-for-19 skid.
The Pirates’ bullpen locked the barn door efficiently. Duane Underwood threw two scoreless innings, although stealth Gold Glove candidate Bryan Reynolds had to bring a Tyler Naquin drive back from over the fence to help him out. Anthony Banda made his Pirates debut with a perfect inning. And Nick Mears fanned the side in the eighth.
The Pirates’ offense couldn’t get enough dribblers through to rally after the fifth. Hitting into two double plays didn’t help. They managed eight hits, seven of them singles. Hoy Park continued to look encouraging, getting two hits and a walk. Gregory Polanco’s sudden, one-day reemergence slipped back toward distant memory, as he went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and a double play. John Nogowski continued to look like a guy the Pirates claimed on waivers, going 0-for-3.