Tony Watson entered in the ninth inning as the Pirates and Reds were tied at three. However, after several singles and a sacrifice fly to center, the Reds pulled ahead to take the contest on Friday night at PNC Park.
The two teams battled back and forth throughout all nine innings, but the Bucs were ran out of time to answer back after the late tie-breaking run in the ninth. This loss marks the ninth in eleven games lost by Pittsburgh, and the second National League Wild Card spot slips farther away.
Cincinnati scored first in the top of the third when Joey Votto singled to center off lefty starter Steven Brault.
Brault went five innings giving up two runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out two before being relived by Jared Hughes. In five career starts, Brault still remains winless. Watson (2-5) picked up the loss in the ninth.
The Bucs were able to quickly answer back with a run in the bottom of the third when Josh Harrison doubled to score Jordy Mercer tying the game 1-1.
Cincinnati pulled back ahead in the fourth as pitcher Tim Adleman had an RBI single to right.
Mercer reached again in the fifth which allowed him to score off a ground out to first by Josh Bell. And the game was tied again 2-2.
However, the Reds continued to keep taking the lead from Pittsburgh. Brandon Phillips homered to left off Hughes in the sixth putting Cincinnati back up one.
Pittsburgh was not able to score again until the bottom of the eighth. Harrison and John Jaso both singled before Andrew McCutchen hit a sacrifice fly to left. Only Harrison earned a run as Jung ho Kang grounded into a double play ending the inning.
As they had all game, the Cincinnati Reds answered the Pirates’ run in the following inning. Watson gave up several singles before Jose Peraza hit a sacrifice fly to score Eugenio Suárez. At the end of the top of the ninth, the Reds led Pittsburgh 4-3.
With bases loaded, Harrison and Adam Frazier hit back to back fly outs that ended the second game of the series.
Saturday night, the Pirates will take on the Reds for the third game of the four game series. Right hander Drew Hutchison will debut with Pittsburgh. Saturday’s first pitch will be thrown at 7:05 P.M. ET.