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Reynolds robs Moose, then hits his own homer

@adamdberry
August 6, 2019

PITTSBURGH -- When the Pirates traded reigning Gold Glove Award winner Corey Dickerson to the Phillies on Wednesday, left field officially became Bryan Reynolds’ territory -- now and, most likely, for the foreseeable future. In Monday night's 9-7 loss to the Brewers at PNC Park, Reynolds showed why. The rookie

PITTSBURGH -- When the Pirates traded reigning Gold Glove Award winner Corey Dickerson to the Phillies on Wednesday, left field officially became Bryan Reynolds’ territory -- now and, most likely, for the foreseeable future.

In Monday night's 9-7 loss to the Brewers at PNC Park, Reynolds showed why.

The rookie sensation starred with the glove and bat, robbing a home run in left field before ripping one out to right. Reynolds finished the night 3-for-5 with a double and a homer, boosting his average to .337 and his OPS to .932 on the year.

“He’s a stud. It doesn’t really surprise me anymore,” Pirates third baseman Colin Moran said. “What’d he casually get, three hits tonight? The quality of his at-bat is really what’s most impressive. Rarely do you see him go up there hacking. He’s usually swinging at his pitch. It’s just fun to watch.”

Leading off the second inning for Milwaukee, Mike Moustakas launched a sinker from Dario Agrazal a projected 358 feet to left field. Reynolds glided back, planted himself at the wall, left his feet and reached his left arm into the stands to pluck the ball for the first out of the inning.

“Fantastic catch,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “It’s another sign of him developing and growing, getting to the wall and making a play.”

Perfectly in keeping with his low-key demeanor and even-keeled attitude, Reynolds seemed less impressed with his highlight-reel grab than everybody else.

“I just kinda ran back there, jumped and caught it. Nothing too in-depth,” Reynolds said. “I was playing pretty deep, so I got to kind of time it up, glance at the wall, see how much room I had and jump.”

It was Reynolds’ second home-run robbery of the season in left field, as he took a homer away from Jose Martinez in St. Louis on May 12. At the time, Reynolds said that was his first catch of that kind at any level and that he simply “blacked out” when he made the leap.

This time, Reynolds did at least take note of the fan celebrating behind him. The rookie even tossed the fan a ball later in the night to make up for the one he kept from landing in the stands.

“He was fired up,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds, who figures to contend for the batting title as long as he’s qualified, contributed in a more familiar way later in the game. After Jordan Lyles held the Bucs hitless for three innings, Reynolds led off the fourth by crushing a 109.7 mph line drive into the right-field seats for his 10th home run of the season.

“I feel good. Feel like I’m swinging the bat well,” Reynolds said. “Just trying to get the barrel to it the best I can. Put the barrel on it. From there, let whatever’s going to happen happen.”

Reynolds leads the Pirates in batting average, on-base percentage (.409) and Wins Above Replacement, and his OPS is only 0.003 behind that of Josh Bell. The switch-hitting outfielder, acquired in the Andrew McCutchen trade, has seemingly secured a spot alongside center fielder Starling Marte and right fielder Gregory Polanco as the Bucs’ starting left fielder heading into next season.

“It’s awesome,” Reynolds said. “It’s what I’ve wanted to do my whole life, get to go out there every day and play on a big league team.”

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.