Reds fall to Bucs after play resumes in suspended tilt
Division rivals club record 10 home runs in series opener halted by rain
CINCINNATI -- The Reds were not only a day late, but also a run short while taking a loss to the Pirates on Tuesday.
Scoring one run in the top of the seventh on Tuesday, Pittsburgh handed the Reds an 8-7 defeat in the resumed series opener of a game that had been suspended by rain on Monday night.
A Great American Ball Park record 10 home runs were hit during the first six innings before the game was halted while tied at 7. Six homers came via the Pirates through three sets of back-to-back homers while the Reds banged out four homers.
The conclusion may have provided the finality that was missing from Monday, but it lacked the home runs.
"It was a six-inning game yesterday and 14 runs were scored, and you knew when it came down to the two bullpens, it was going to be completely the opposite," Reds manager Bryan Price said after his club fell to a 4-9 record. "We played three more innings and one run was scored, total. So it was really a tale of two completely different games."
Pittsburgh took the lead quickly against new reliever Sam LeCure after Andrew McCutchen hit a one-out double to left field and scored from third base on a two-out RBI single up the middle by Russell Martin.
LeCure replaced J.J. Hoover, who was on the mound for Cincinnati when the game was stopped Monday.
"We didn't tell Sam until a couple of minutes before five that he was going to start the seventh inning," Price said. "A lot of times with relief pitchers, they don't like to know a lot in advance. They much prefer to be flipped the ball and say, 'Get ready, you're in the game.' So we kind of kept that mentality. He had more advanced notice than he would typically have but less than a starting pitcher would have by a long shot."
Ten minutes into the game's resumption, the seventh-inning stretch was played. Unlike the previous night, when they answered each time the Pirates took the lead, the Reds could not come back.
In the bottom of the eighth against Pirates reliever Mark Melancon, Jay Bruce drew a one-out walk and moved to second base on a Ryan Ludwick groundout and was left stranded.
In the bottom of the ninth against Pirates closer Jason Grilli, Price summoned Chris Heisey to pinch-hit for Ramon Santiago. Heisey, who has seven pinch-hit homers, including a grand slam on Sunday vs. Tampa Bay, popped out to second base for the second out.
"He's a good hitter, and we've seen him do well against us since he's been here," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's got some big swings for them -- I know he already has a pinch-hit grand slam this year. He's beat us with short ball and long ball, and put an aggressive swing on the one ball we got high right where it needed to be for a quick out on a very dangerous hitter. "
The move left the Reds out of infielders because Santiago had already replaced shortstop Zack Cozart in a double switch when LeCure entered. Neftali Soto was used as a pinch-hitter on Monday. Had the Reds sent the game into extra innings, Price would have had center fielder Billy Hamilton play shortstop.
"Billy is an ex-shortstop. Put him over at short and do the best we can," Price said. "You've got to do what you've got to do to try to win a ballgame right there. I thought maybe Heisey could hit a double or hit a homer and let us extend that game."
It would not matter as Hamilton struck out to end the game and Grilli notched his fourth save. The time of the game was officially three hours and seven minutes, even if nearly 24 hours spanned from first pitch to the last.
Long gone were the previous day's, but same game's, starting pitchers. Homer Bailey gave up five runs and eight hits, including four homers, over five innings for Cincinnati. Pirates lefty Wandy Rodriguez gave up three homers among his six runs allowed in five innings.
Bailey blew leads of 2-1 and 4-3 as he gave up back-to-back homers to Neil Walker and Gaby Sanchez to start the second inning and again to begin the fifth to Starling Marte and Travis Snider. Walker and Sanchez paired to go deep again off of reliever Hoover to take a 7-6 lead briefly in the top of the sixth.
All the homers against Rodriguez were two-run shots, with Todd Frazier connecting on a drive to center field in the first inning, Ludwick doing likewise in the fourth inning and Joey Votto driving a first pitch to right field in the fifth.
Rodriguez's replacement, Bryan Morris, did not pitch in the conclusion but was still the winning pitcher of record. Morris gave up Devin Mesoraco's game-tying solo homer with two outs in the bottom of the sixth that evened the game on Monday.