Bucs defeat Reds thanks to Marte's grab
CINCINNATI -- Following an afternoon where they were frisky at the Trade Deadline with multiple moves, the Pirates battled back and then held on for a 5-4 victory over the Reds on Friday that snapped Cincinnati's three-game winning streak.
Jung Ho Kang scored the go-ahead run on Jumbo Diaz's bases-loaded, two-out wild pitch in the sixth before Starling Marte, who saved the game in the bottom of the ninth with a diving catch, added an RBI single to left field.
"I saw the ball and dove because I knew I had a chance," Marte said of his game-ending grab of Marlon Byrd's sinking liner, with two Reds steaming around the bases.
Aided by Ivan De Jesus Jr.'s two-run homer, Cincinnati took a 3-1 second-inning lead against Jeff Locke but didn't add on more as nine men batted in the rally. Against Michael Lorenzen, Pittsburgh got an RBI single from Pedro Alvarez in the fourth and tied the game on Andrew McCutchen's two-out solo homer to right field in the fifth.
The losing pitcher, Lorenzen finished with five earned runs and six hits over 5 2/3 innings for his fourth loss in his past five starts. He walked three and struck out six. Locke gave up three earned runs and five hits over five innings for the victory. He walked three and struck out five. Mark Melancon recorded his 33rd save but worked out of a jam in the ninth where he had the potential tying run on second base and go-ahead run on first base; Marte's catch in left field preserved the lead.
"It was a tough one today, boys," frustrated Reds catcher Brayan Pena said. "A very tough one."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
A very close call: Joakim Soria's Pittsburgh debut turned into an adventure -- and then into a frightening moment. Protecting a 5-4 lead, he retired the first two men in the seventh, helped the Reds load the bases with two walks around a single, ran the count to 3-0 on Pena -- then got him to hit a laser over his head, which he gloved with a reflexive stab for the final out.
"Like I said before, it's never easy. You just have to react to the situation," Soria said. "I saw the ball and just reached for it."
"Two quick outs, then some drama. That was a fantastic play," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "Whether it was planned or reactionary, I don't know, but it was a wonderful stab."
Double trouble, triple double: Kang got his two bases' worth into each of the Pirates' scoring rallies. He doubled for a run in the first, and scored after hitting leadoff doubles in the fourth and sixth innings.
The three hits raised Kang's average to .299 -- tied with Francisco Cervelli for best among the Pirates.
"But we still have two months to go. Besides, I don't think about batting average -- but about helping the team win," Kang said.
Lorenzen lets one get away: It was a 3-3 game when Lorenzen was one strike from closing out a clean sixth inning, but he couldn't do it. He had Travis Ishikawa in a 1-2 count before the pinch-hitter fouled off two pitches and took three-straight balls for a key walk that loaded the bases. Lorenzen was lifted in favor of Diaz, who threw a wild pitch to Gregory Polanco that scored Kang with the go-ahead run.
"It's just I need to throw pitches that I want to throw with conviction, but he put up a good at-bat and fouled off some really good pitches," Lorenzen said. "[Ishikawa] took some really good pitches. Took a high fastball that I thought for sure he was going to swing at, and he took it. They had a good at-bat, and I didn't go after him. I mean I did, I got ahead pretty quickly, but he just fouled off some tough pitches and battled."
Two in two: Leading off the bottom of the sixth, Byrd got a run back for Cincinnati when he hit a 1-0 pitch from Jared Hughes for a homer to center field. It was Byrd's 18th homer of the season and his second in two nights. According to Statcast™, the ball left the bat at 107 mph and traveled 418 feet.
"In this case I don't think we beat ourselves. They went out and won the game. Pena has a great at-bat, lines the ball back up the middle and Soria makes a really nice catch. That's at least a one run base hit up the middle, if not a two-run single. Then Marte comes up big two times, makes a perfect throw to the plate to get Brandon, then makes a diving play that if he doesn't come up with the ball, we've got some big action going, so they went out and won the game. We played a good ballgame, and they played a little bit better." -- Reds manager Bryan Price
"There isn't another left fielder in the league who makes that catch. But I knew he had it, because I've seen him make it before." -- McCutchen, on Marte's game-ending grab
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On the last day of July, the Pirates finally grabbed their fifth win of the season in a rival National League Central city; they are now 5-15 on the road in intradivisional play.
The Pirates netted a run out of a successful first-inning challenge of a call that a pitch in on Marte's hands had hit the bat, resulting in a groundout. The play, coming with Polanco aboard and none out, was overturned after replay review indicated the pitch had hit Marte's hand. Instead of an out, the Bucs had another baserunner and two outs later were still alive for Kang to deliver a two-out RBI double.
In the bottom of the ninth, Todd Frazier hit a single to left field and Phillips was waved around to score before being thrown out by Marte. Hoping for a break, the Reds challenged the call because they thought catcher Cervelli violated the collision rule. But the call was confirmed upon review, and Phillips was out.
"They got the call right," Price said. "Cervelli set up in fair territory, wasn't taking away the plate. The throw took him into the line. They got it absolutely right, no qualms at all about that final call."
Pirates: Gerrit Cole (14-4, 2.24 ERA) will seek his first career victory over the Reds in his sixth start against them when the series resumes Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET in Great American Ball Park. Three of the winless starts have come in GABP.
Reds: Right-handed rookie Raisel Iglesias (1-3, 5.53 ERA) will make his eighth start and 10th appearance of the season on Saturday to continue a four-game series against the Pirates. Iglesias, who spent time on the disabled list earlier this year with a strained left oblique, hasn't picked up a win since May 13 against the Braves.
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