The Pittsburgh Pirates defense betrayed Jeff Locke, as the team fell by a 3-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds Monday afternoon.
Locke [7-10] only allowed four hits in his five-plus innings of work, however the Pirates defense did him no favors committing four errors in this game.
Two of those errors were committed by Sean Rodriguez who made his first start this season at shortstop.
Though Rodriguez takes ground balls at the position every day there is on-field batting practice, he committed two errors in the first two innings of the game.
The second error was part of a three-run second inning for the Reds.
Phillips reached base to lead off the bottom half because of the Rodriguez error. Jay Bruce then battled for 12 pitches with Locke before hitting the 13th for a single. With a runner in scoring position, Eugenio Suarez singled in Phillips placing the Reds in the lead.
Pitching coach Ray Searage visited his pitcher after he walked Adam Duvall. Tucker Barnhart then hit a sacrifice fly which scored Bruce. Polanco then committed a throwing error which allowed for Suarez to score.
Locke was charged with all three runs, however with the errors, one was earned.
Anthony DeSclafani [8-10] started for the Reds and for seven innings kept the Pirates off the scoreboard. His lone blemish occurred in the eighth inning.
Pinch-hitter Jaff Decker led off the inning with a double, his first of the season. A ground out from Polanco placed Decker on third base. Neil Walker then hit an RBI single, for his second hit of the afternoon.
Aroldis Chapman earned his 29th save of the season which was aided by a pickoff of Rodriguez at first base.
This victory ensured the Reds will win the season series between these two teams. Currently the Reds are 10-4 against the Pirates.
The series will continue Tuesday night when Francisco Liriano [9-7 3.40 ERA] takes on Raisel Iglesias [3-6 3.81 ERA]. Liriano is 0-5 with a 3.96 ERA in 10 career regular season starts against the Reds. He did however win a decision against the Reds in his 2013 National League Wild Card start.
Photo credit: John Minchillo/AP Photo