Pirates Rally In Ninth, Defeat Reds 3-2

Pablo Reyes pinch hit brings home the winning run in the 9th

Matt Harkins
August 23, 2019 - 11:20 pm

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - The Pittsburgh Pirates trailed the Cincinnati Reds 2-1 heading into the bottom of the 9th, but four singles and a sacrifice bunt later, the Pirates rallied to defeat the Reds 3-2 to win game one of this weekend series.

With runners on second and third with one out, Pablo Reyes pinch hit for Felipe Vazquez and on the second pitch of the at-bat he promptly put one into the left centerfield gap that brought home Joe Musgrove, who pinch ran for Jose Osuna, for the walk-off victory.

"This is my first opportunity hitting in that situation, last inning with one out, man on 2nd, man on 3rd," said Reyes. "So, I'm just trying to get a good swing and trying to put the ball in the field. When you do good swings, a lot of things can happen."

The Reds got on the scoreboard first as Aristides Aquino hit his 12th home run of the season to right centerfield that gave Cincinnati the early 1-0 lead.

With the exception of a rough top of the 2nd inning, Pirates Starting Pitcher Mitch Keller was efficient on the mound as he struck out a career high nine batters in 6+ innings pitched. Besides the home run, Keller only allowed six other batters reach base and only one got past second.

"For sure (this gives me a confidence boost), anyone who said it wasn't would be lying," said Keller. "Whenever you do well, it's definitely a confidence booster, feel good, team wins, it's great."

The final line for Keller Friday night was 6+ innings pitched, gave up six hits, one run (the solo home run to Aquino), walked one and struck out 9.

After the Pirates tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the 6th on an RBI Groundout from Colin Moran that scored Bryan Reynolds, the first two Reds batters reached in the top of the 7th off Keller, but Pirates Relief Pitcher Michael Feliz was able to shutdown the threat as he struck out the three batters he faced to end the inning.

"I just prepare my mind, go out there, try to be with Stallings, call the right pitches, try to not do to much and just do my thing and let it go," said Feliz. "I just go out there, try to get people out, try to get soft contact you know, maybe double play or pop up in the infield, but I think to strike them out, just make pitches and make those guys swings uncomfortable."

It has been a struggle since the All Star Break for the Pirates as with the win tonight they are now 9-30 since the break and it felt good to get a win like this tonight for the team and hopefully gain some traction and have some success for the rest of the season to finish strong heading into the off-season.

"You play to win the game and I think this is our 9th win in the second half," said Manager Clint Hurdle. "As I told you even earlier, the vibe, the energy and the effort's there, but those don't always translate to wins and they haven't for us. Tonight we stay in a game and we keep hunting, we keep playing and it payed off for us tonight and you never know when tractions going to start and when something small can lead into something bigger. So, we got another opportunity tomorrow to build off the momentum from today."

The Pirates and Reds will play game two of this weekend series Saturday night when they send Trevor Williams (5-6, 5.65 ERA) to the mound against Alex Wood (1-2, 5.92 ERA) and Cincinnati at PNC Park.

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