It took extra innings, but the Pittsburgh Pirates took the first of a three-game road series by a 9-7 score Friday night against the Cincinnati Reds.
The game was tied at six heading into the 10th inning, when the Reds brought in closer Tony Cingrani. A total of eight Pirates batters would step up to face him.
Cingrani (2-5) started the inning with a four-pitch walk to Jung Ho Kang, which was followed by a Sean Rodriguez single and a Francisco Cervelli bunt single that was upheld after a Reds challenge.
Jordy Mercer then hit the go-ahead single on the first pitch he saw.
Pinch-hitter Jason Rogers was ruled safe at first after the Pirates successfully challenged the “out” call at first base, which led to the ejection of Cincinnati manager Bryan Price.
David Freese was next up, and he had a 2-2 count when he hit a seeing-eye single back up the middle to plate two more runs. The three runs were enough to give the Pirates the “W.”
The Pirates started off strong with a three-run first inning against Reds starting pitcher Robert Stephenson. Andrew McCutchen hit a one-out double, his 22nd of the season, to score Josh Bell. Gregory Polanco immediately followed with his 22nd home run of the season, which scored McCutchen.
Down by two runs, the Reds came back in the first inning to add a run, and they added another run in the bottom of the second inning to tie the game against Pirates starter Ryan Vogelsong. First, Brandon Phillips hit a first-inning RBI single and then Ramon Cabrera hit a home run in the second inning, his second homer of the season.
The Pirates loaded the bases with one out in the fifth inning and retook the lead when Jung Ho Kang was hit by a pitch with two outs.
This lead lasted until the bottom half of the inning when a Joey Votto single and Scott Schebler triple placed the Reds in front, 6-4. Reliever Zach Phillips replaced Pirates starter Ryan Vogelsong prior to the Schebler at-bat.
Vogelsong receiving a no-decision, allowing six runs (four earned on seven hits in 4.2 innings).
Down 6-4, Kang hit a game-tying home run off Blake Wood, Kang’s 19th of the season.
Antonio Bastardo (3-0) earned the win, and Tony Watson earned the save, his 13th of the season.
Saturday, the Pirates play in a day-night doubleheader. First, Pittsburgh’s Jameson Taillon (3-4, 3.27 ERA) faces Cincinnati’s Anthony DeSclafani (8-3, 2.93 ERA). In Game 2 of the doubleheader, the Pirates will send Trevor Williams (1-1, 6.75 ERA) to Brandon Finnegan (9-10, 4.43 ERA).
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