Hunter Greene rebounded well after leaving his last start early when he was hit by a grounder in the leg, firing six innings of 1-run baseball. But the Cincinnati Reds offense couldn’t get much of anything going on Sunday as they lost 2-0 to the Pittsburgh Pirates, who completed a 4-game sweep of their divisional counterparts.
|Cincinnati Reds (7-15)||0||4||0|
|Pittsburgh Pirates (16-7)||2||6||0|
|W: Velasquez (3-2) L: Greene (0-1) SV: Bednar (8)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Ke’Bryan Hayes took the first pitch from Hunter Greene of the game and doubled off of the wall in center. A bloop single moved Hayes over to third base and then he’d score when Andrew McCutchen grounded into a double play, giving the Pirates a 1-0 lead.
Vince Velasquez cruised througgh the first two innings, but ran into some 1-out trouble of his own doing in the 3rd when he walked Jose Barrero and Luke Maile to put two men on. The pitching coach made a trip to the mound and whatever he said seemed to work as Velasquez got out of the inning with a fly out and a ground out while holding onto the 1-0 lead.
The Reds would pick up their first hit when Wil Myers lined a single into left field with two outs in the top of the 4th inning. Nothing came from it and the game moved to the bottom of the 4th. Hunter Greene had to work around a 1-out walk, but did so as he continued to cruise after giving up a run in the 1st. Unfortunately for Cincinnati, so did Vince Velasquez who retired the side in order in the top of the 5th.
Hunter Greene had to work around a 1-out single by Andrew McCutchen in the 6th inning, but he was able to get a fly out and a pop up to strand him. That would be the final inning he’d throw, giving up just one run with six strikeouts and two walks on the day.
Vince Velasquez threw a perfect 7th inning and picked up two more strikeouts, giving him 10 on the day. It was just the 6th time in the career of the 31-year-old he reached double digit strikeouts. Three of those came in 2016 and the last time was in May of 2018. He had pitched in 121 games since that game, mostly as a starter, before today’s 10-strikeout game.
Reiver Sanmartin took over for Greene to start the 7th and walked the first two hitters he faced. That resulted in a visit from pitching coach Derek Johnson. Sanmartin rebounded with a 3-pitch strikeout of Ji Hwan Bae. Another mound visit ensued, but this time it was manager David Bell heading out there and he called on Fernando Cruz to enter the game to face Jason Delay. Cruz got out of the inning, stranding both runners by striking out Ke’Bryan Hayes for the final out of the frame.
The Reds finally got a runner in scoring position in the top of the 8th inning when Tyler Stephenson came off of the bench and hit a 1-out double off of the wall in right field. Nick Senzel replaced him on the bases as a pinch runner. That turned the lineup over, but Jonathan India struck out and TJ Friedl grounded out to end the inning and keep Cincinnati scoreless.
Fernando Cruz returned for the bottom of the 8th inning. He retired the first two hitters of the inning, but a check swing infield single by Carlos Santana and then a stolen base – just the third for Santana since 2020 began – led to a run when Jack Suwinski doubled to make it 2-0. A strikeout would end the inning, but the damage had been done.
Holding what seemed like an insurmountable lead of 2-0, David Bednar entered to try and close out the game. He would strike out Spencer Steer and then he got Jake Fraley to pop up. But Wil Myers wasn’t ready to go home just yet and singled into right field to bring the tying run to the plate in Stuart Fairchild. It wasn’t meant to be as Fairchild struck out on three pitches as the Pirates completed a 4-game sweep of the Reds with a 2-0 victory.
Key Moment of the Game
Jack Suwinski’s RBI double in the bottom of the 8th inning that put the Pirates up 2-0.
Notes Worth Noting
Tyler Stephenson’s double in the 8th inning was the first extra-base hit by the Reds since the 4th inning on Thursday.
The Reds were swept by the Pirates in Pittsburgh in a 4-game series for the first time since April of 2019.
The loss was the 6th in a row for Cincinnati.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Texas Rangers vs Cincinnati Reds
Monday April 24th, 6:40pm ET
Nathan Eovaldi (2-2, 5.40 ERA) vs Nick Lodolo (2-1, 4.98 ERA)