January 28, 2019 at 12:23 pm #11668
Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle insists he hasn’t been keeping close tabs of his team’s slide following a hot start. He wasn’t aware the Pirates had dropped eight straight series until someone mentioned it to him earlier in the week.
”If somebody would have told me you’re going to lose eight series [url=http://www.officialstarsproonline.com/authentic-adidas-tyler-pitlick-jersey]Youth Tyler Pitlick Jersey[/url] , you’d think you’re going to be horrible,” Hurdle said. ”We’re not horrible. We’re fighting. And we believe that our best baseball is in front of us.”
It is, at least when the Pirates play the struggling Cincinnati Reds. Josh Harrison hit a two-run homer, Colin Moran and Elias Diaz added solo shots and the Pirates pulled away for a 6-2 victory on Saturday to push their modest winning streak to three and assuring themselves of their first positive series since taking a two-game set from the Chicago White Sox a month ago.
”We know what’s happened here the past couple weeks,” Harrison said. ”Guys are still plugging away and coming ready to show up every day and we’ve had three in a row. We know that doesn’t speak for what’s happened or what will happen. We’ve just got to continue to keep bringing it every day.”
Moran and Diaz both went deep off Luis Castillo (4-8) to give Pittsburgh the lead. Harrison hit his fourth of the season off reliever Austin Brice in the sixth. The Cincinnati native finished 2 for 4 is hitting .368 (14 for 38) against the Reds.
”Any time you can have a total offensive effort like that, it shows that we’re doing what we’re supposed to, taking advantage of mistake pitches and when presented with an opportunity to move a runner, get it done,” Harrison said.
Ivan Nova (4-5) worked through heavy traffic on a day his breaking ball abandoned him to last six innings and pick up his second victory in as many starts since returning from the 10-day disabled list with a sprained right ring finger. Nova allowed only Eugenio Suarez’s 13th home run in the second [url=http://www.officialstarsproonline.com/authentic-adidas-tyler-seguin-jersey]Tyler Seguin Jersey[/url] , striking out three while giving up three walks.
”I didn’t have the curveball today, but we grinded out there,” Nova said.
Castillo struggled keeping the ball on the right side of the fence at PNC Park, a problem that’s plagued the 25-year-old all season. He’s now allowed at least one home run in 15 of his 18 starts.
”It’s surprising because I’m trying to do my best and every time I get out there, I give up one or two home runs,” Castillo said after dropping his fourth straight decision. ”I really don’t know what’s happening right now. I’m just going to keep working in the bullpen and keep doing my best trying to help.”
Rookie Brandon Dixon hit his first major league home run off Pittsburgh reliever Michael Feliz in the ninth and Jesse Winker had two of Cincinnati’s seven hits to snap out of an 0-for-13 skid, but the Reds had issues taking advantage against Nova.
Cincinnati went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position and is now 0 for 19 with runners in scoring position in the series.
”We’ve just got to get it going,” Reds manager Jim Riggleman said. ”You go through these things. We’ve got a good offensive ball club. We’ve shown it many times. We’re just in a little funk here where we’re not getting some timely hits.”
Moran broke a tie with his fourth home run of the season and first since June 2 when he sent Castillo’s pitch into the bullpen beyond the centerfield fence leading off the second. Diaz made it 3-1 when his fifth home run led off the third.
The Reds had their opportunities against Nova. They loaded the bases in the fourth only to have Billy Hamilton ground out to first to end the threat. Scott Schebler led off the fifth with a double but couldn’t get home and Hamilton came to the plate in the sixth with two runners on only to fly out to left field.
Hamilton finished 0 for 4 as his averaged dipped to .187.
Pirates: Reliever Richard Rodriguez (right shoulder inflammation) threw 20 pitches in a simulated game and is nearing a return from the 10-day disabled list. Rodriguez, who is eligible to come off the DL on Monday [url=http://www.officialredwings.com/authentic-adidas-anthony-mantha-jersey]Anthony Mantha Jersey[/url] , said ”things feel really good right now.”
Reds: Anthony DeSclafani (1-1, 5.40 ERA) starts the series finale on Sunday. The 28-year-old picked up his first victory since 2016 in his previous start against St. Louis.
Pirates: Joe Musgrove (2-1, 2.16) makes his first career start against the Reds. Musgrove gave up two earned runs in five innings of a no decision on Monday against Arizona.
Joe Mauer didn’t receive any gifts for returning from a lengthy stint on the disabled list.
No, his reward was an immediate matchup against two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber.
”Yeah, welcome back, right?” Mauer said with a laugh.
The six-time All-Star returned to the lineup on Friday after missing 25 games with a strained neck and concussion-like symptoms sustained when he was injured diving for a foul ball last month.
And while facing Kluber might not be an ideal first step back, the struggling Twins, who have one of the league’s weakest offenses, were thrilled to have Mauer back in their lineup.
”It’s good for any manager to have a chance to put a guy like Joe’s name down there [url=http://www.officialredwings.com/authentic-adidas-darren-helm-jersey]Darren Helm Jersey[/url] ,” said manager Paul Molitor, who had Mauer batting first against Kluber in the opener of a three-game series against the AL Central-leading Indians. ”Yeah, he’s in a good place, he’s excited to be here and we welcome him back. Hopefully, he can give us a little bit of a boost.”
The Twins came in seven games under .500 and batting just .238 as a team. They also entered the series with only three runs in the past 19 innings.
That’s not ideal against Kluber, who is 5-0 with a 0.76 ERA against the AL Central this season.
”Obviously, he’s one of the best in the game,” Mauer said. ”That’s the big leagues. You’re going to face the best night in and night out. It’s a tough matchup first game, but the one tomorrow (Carlos Carrasco) is pretty tough [url=http://www.officialblackhawksproshop.com/authentic-adidas-duncan-keith-jersey]Duncan Keith Jersey[/url] , too. I’m just excited to be back.”
Mauer has been symptom-free for a week. He went hitless in 10 at-bats over three games in a rehab stint with Triple-A Rochester, but the three-time batting champion feels ready to go.
”It’s been going good,” said Mauer, who was batting .283 with one homer and 11 RBIs when he got hurt. ”Obviously, I went down there and got in a couple of games and did everything I had to do to get back here. I’m excited to check off those boxes, get a couple of at-bats and play in the field for nine innings.”
Mauer said he didn’t have to make any diving stops in the field at Rochester, and that he won’t alter his game just because of the recent injury.
”My experience is when you try to do that you end up getting hurt,” he said. ”I got the full clear to go and I’m excited for that.”.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.