Pitcher Ivan Nova entered Sunday’s game with a 5-0 record as a Pittsburgh Pirate, but after a 7-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, an ‘L’ was placed next to his name for the first time since July 29 with the New York Yankees.
Not only did Nova lose, the Pirates missed out on a chance to earn a second consecutive four-game road series sweep.
Just 10 days prior, Nova (12-7) fired a complete game one-run shutout, but, Sunday, the former New York Yankee made it through just three innings and tied a season-high with 10 hits allowed. He also allowed five runs, four of which were earned, both representing a high in his time as a Pirate.
With the way this game started, it appeared tailor-made for Nova as Pedro Florimon hit a two-run triple in the second inning to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead.
This lead didn’t last long, however, as the Reds led off the bottom half of the frame with two singles. Both runners would score when the next batter, Tucker Barnhart, hit an RBI double.
The Reds weren’t done teeing off Nova as the home team plated three in the third frame. Brandon Phillips brought in a run on a ground-rule double, putting the Reds in the lead for good. Scott Schebler then continued the scoring with an RBI single, and a Barnhart sacrifice fly placed the Reds firmly in front.
The Pirates tried to rally when Sean Rodriguez hit a sixth-inning home run, his 17th of the season and fifth on this road trip, but it wasn’t enough.
Cincinnati answered with another Barnhart sacrifice fly, this time in the seventh inning, and a Joey Votto eighth-inning home run.
John Jaso did bat in the fourth and final Pittsburgh run on a ninth-inning double.
While the Pirates did lose, there was a bright spot: Tyler Glasnow pitched three scoreless innings of relief.
The Pirates have Monday off before ending this road trip with a three-game road series against the Milwaukee Brewers. Milwaukee’s Matt Garza (5-7, 4.22 ERA) will face a yet to be determined Pirates pitcher.
Image credit: Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire