© Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Lyles, Bullpen Shutout Reds 2-0

Pirates Improve To 2-3 Behind Strong Pitching Performance To Open Up Series Against Reds

April 04, 2019 - 11:09 pm

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - After struggling the previous two games against St. Louis, the Pirates bullpen, combined with a strong start from Jordan Lyles, was able to shutout the Cincinnati Reds Thursday night at PNC Park 2-0.

Lyles made his Pittsburgh Pirates debut and pitched 5 scoreless innings while only giving up 3 hits, 3 walks and struck out 2.

"I thought it was a good start to get things going," said Lyles.  "Overall, very pleased with the handful of innings we got. Obviously, going forward, 5 innings not real thrilled about that.  Going forward we're going to look at getting deeper in games, but overall not complaining about some scoreless innings."

Felipe Vasquez came on in the 9th inning to close out the game after Nick Kingham pitched a couple scoreless frames and Richard Rodriguez pitched a scoreless 8th.  Vasquez got into some trouble with runners on 2nd and 3rd and only 1 out, but got pinch hitters Curt Casali and Kyle Farmer to each strikeout to end the game and secure the Pirates victory.

Vasquez was asked about the struggles of the bullpen early in the season and bouncing back quickly after some struggles.

"The season just started, so it's not like we are in the middle of the season," said Vasquez. "You just try to forget (bad outings) as quickly as you can and go back at it."

Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle also weighed in on a great game pitched by the bullpen after the struggles of the previous two against the Cardinals and he doesn't like calling it a bounce back game this early in the season.

"I have trouble using the term bounce back this early, we just have to go play baseball." said Hurdle.  "It was a well pitched game by us, a well executed game plan by our pitchers and they all deserve some credit tonight."

The Pirates played some small ball tonight to get the two runs on the board tonight with the first run being set up on a well executed hit and run with Pablo Reyes on first base and J.B Shuck at the plate.

"He (Reyes) got a good reaction, Shuck makes the play happen and we're just trying to hit the ball hard where it's pitched," said Hurdle.  "Pablo made a good read, it was an important play and we were able to get a battle at bat from Newman. They made a nice pitch and he got enough of it just to move it and make something happen to score a run."

Listen to Hurdle's complete postgame conversation with the media below.

Game 2 of this 4-game series takes place Friday night here at PNC Park at 7:05 pm as the Pirates send Joe Musgrove to the mound against the Reds Sonny Gray.

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