The Pirates opened a four-game series in Cincinnati with a win on Friday night. Pittsburgh tallied three runs in the top of the tenth to take the game from the Reds. Pittsburgh hangs on to a sliver of hope as they sit six games back for the second National League wild card spot.
The Bucs took a 3-0 lead in the first. Andrew McCutchen doubled scoring Josh Bell, and McCutchen was quickly brought home as Gregory Polanco homered to right. However, the Reds struck back earning one run in the bottom of the first when Brandon Phillips singled in Joey Votto. Ramon Cabrera later tied the game with a two run homer off Pirates’ starter Ryan Vogelsong in the third.
Vogelsong pitched 4 2/3 innings giving up six runs on seven hits, which echoed his last start against the Reds where the Pirates lost 8-0 at PNC Park.
Antonio Bastardo earned the win for the Bucs while Tony Watson picked up save number thirteen.
Pittsburgh broke the 3-3 tie in the fifth inning when Jung ho Kang was hit by a pitch while the bases were loaded. But the one run was not enough as Cincinnati answered back with three runs in the bottom of the inning. By the end of the fifth, the Reds led 6-4.
Hot hitting Kang knocked a two run homer out of the Great American Ballpark in the seventh to tie the game again at six. Kang reached base five times in Friday night’s game. He was walked twice, hit by a pitch twice, and sent one to the seats.
The damage was done in the top of the tenth when Jordy Mercer knocks in the go-ahead run with a single to left. Later, David Freese added on two game sealing insurance runs with a shot up the middle. Francisco Cervelli and Mercer scored.
Watson gave up a no-out solo shot to center by Steve Slesky, but quickly retired the next three batters.
The Pirates play both games two and three on Saturday. Jameson Taillon will take the mound for game one at 12:10 P.M. ET. Trevor Williams is scheduled to make his first career start in the major league in the second game of the doubleheader at the Great American Ballpark.