The Pirates got a strong start from Dillon Peters and piled up ten hits off Wade Miley, helping themselves to a big lead. They just managed to hang on, beating Cincinnati, 6-5.
Peters accomplished the near-impossible feat for a Pirate pitcher of not having a bad inning. In fact, all he had were shutout innings, five of them. He gave up five hits, threw lots of strikes — 57 out of 80 pitches — and fanned five. He had to strand two each in the second, fourth and fifth, but the Reds never strung together enough to get on the board.
The Pirates, meanwhile, had a pair of three-run innings while Peters was around, and even overcame the daily dose of Derek’s deviousness. Ke’Bryan Hayes led off the bottom of the first with a single. Derek Shelton then had Kevin Newman bunt him to second because one-run strategeries are vital for a team that’s allowed 5.6 runs per game since the beginning of July. After Bryan Reynolds walked — which is becoming suspiciously common, like other teams have seen the Pirates’ bb-ref page or something — Yoshi Tsutsugo singled in a run. Tsutsugo managed to get himself picked off, hopefully just as the result of old-fashioned boobery and not strategery, but Jacob Stallings defeated the plan to get only one run by singling to drive in Reynolds. An error and a single by Ben Gamel brought in a third run.
In the fifth, after a Newman single and another walk to Reynolds, Tsutsugo singled in Newman and Reynolds scored on another Reds error. Gamel later doubled in Tsutsugo. That made it 6-0.
Peters, who isn’t really stretched out much yet, came out after five. Shelton went with Nick Mears in the sixth, who made up for Peters’ failure to put up a bad inning. He gave up a walk and a barrage of singles, five in all, that led to four runs. The rally possibly could have been cut short by a pitching change, which is sometimes employed to prevent one pitcher from blowing a game. Mears was due to lead off the bottom of the inning, though, and Shelton had already scheduled a pinch hitter, so no move was possible.
With David Bednar out, the Pirates are down to some pretty alarming late-inning possibilities, like Kyle Keller and Shelby Miller. So Shelton went with Chasen Shreve for two innings and he retired six straight. That’s probably not going to work on a regular basis, but it worked tonight.
That left the ninth for Chris Stratton. He gave up a two-out solo home run to Nick Castellanos, but fanned the ever-scary Joey Votto to end it.