The Pittsburgh Pirates managed just four hits and struck out 17 times on Tuesday night, but posted their National League-leading 12th shutout — all combined staff efforts, blanking the Reds 4-0 in Cincinnati.
Although he struck out nine batters in five innings of work, Reds starter Mat Latos (6-1; 3.20 ERA) threw 32 pitches and gave up three runs in the first inning, taking a loss for this first time this season, and dropping a decision for the first time ever to the Pirates (42-29). Even in a loss, Cincinnati pitchers went on to tie their club’s record of 17 strikeouts in a nine-inning game.
In the top of the first inning, Pittsburgh’s Starling Marte tripled, and scored on a Russell Martin single. Later in the inning, Pedro Alvarez delivered a two-run double. In the seventh inning, Marte singled home Jordy Mercer with the game’s final run.
Marte and Cincinnati’s Joey Votto both recorded two hits. Like the Pirates, Cincinnati (43-29) managed only four hits. Pirates pitchers struck out ten batters, with eight fanned by the bullpen.
Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton (1-1; 1.74 ERA), in his second start since his return from elbow surgery, earned his first win of the season. Morton, in five-and-a-third innings, allowed only three hits, struck out two batters and walked none.
In the third game of the four-game series at Great American Ballpark on Wednesday night, Jeff Locke (6-1; 2.19 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Bucs against former Pirate Bronson Arroyo (6-5; 3.27 ERA).