After having been shut out in back-to-back home games on Friday and Saturday, the Pittsburgh Pirates (35-22) rebounded from a 4-0, first-inning deficit on Sunday to defeat the visiting Cincinnati Reds 5-4 in 11 innings.
An RBI single by Travis Snider off Reds reliever Alfredo Simon (4-2; 2.48 ERA) ended the contest in walk-off fashion. Justin Wilson (5-0; 1.29 ERA) earned the win. The Bucs have won three of their last four victories in the 11th inning.
The Bucs began the comeback with a solo home run by Pedro Alvarez in the bottom of the second inning. Andrew McCutchen singled home Alex Presley in the sixth frame. Then, Garrett Jones tied the contest with a two-run homer in the eighth inning. The 463-foot blast was the first ball ever hit directly into the Allegheny River by a Pirates slugger without a bounce on the River Walk, and the only such poke by any player other than Daryle Ward, of Houston, who turned the trick in 2002, PNC Park’s second season.
Before the Pirates’ bullpen ran off 10 straight scoreless innings of relief work, Pittsburgh starter Jeanmar Gomez allowed four first-inning runs, subsequently leaving the game after the first frame with “tightness” in his right forearm. The Reds (also 35-22) tallied runs on an RBI triple by Zack Cozart, run scoring singles by Jay Bruce and Xavier Paul and a sacrifice fly by Devin Mesoraco.
Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto both singled home runs in Cincinnati’s 2-0 shutout win on Saturday night, and four Reds pitchers held the Pirates scoreless despite ten Pittsburgh hits, all singles. Presley, just called up Friday from “AAA” Indianapolis, recorded three of the Pirates’ hits. Jones had two hits, as did Phillips and Todd Frazier for the opposition. Mike Leake (5-2; 2.75 ERA) posted the win over the Bucs’ Francisco Liriano (3-2; 2.17 ERA).
In Friday’s opener, Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto threw a one-hitter through eight innings in a 6-0 Reds shutout. Cueto, now 13-4 lifetime against Pittsburgh, struck out six batters and walked one, defeating Pirates starter Wandy Rodriguez (6-3; 3.47 ERA). Bruce and Phillips both homered for Cincinnati. Brandon Inge recorded the only Pittsburgh hit. Four of the Reds’ runs were scored in the final two innings off Pirates reliever Mike Zagurski (13.50 ERA), making his second bullpen appearance since his promotion from Indianapolis.
The Pirates will begin a weeklong road trip on Monday night in Atlanta against the 34-22 Braves. The Bucs are expected to start A.J. Burnett (3-5; 2.72 ERA) against Atlanta’s Chris Medlen (1-6; 3.48 ERA).