Suarez backs Iglesias as Reds defeat Bucs
CINCINNATI -- Eugenio Suarez drove in three runs to back Raisel Iglesias' four-hit pitching into the seventh Saturday as the Reds downed the Pirates, 4-3, in a sold-out Great American Ball Park.
Iglesias was in control for 6 2/3 innings -- his second longest of eight starts -- to out-duel Gerrit Cole for his second win. He allowed four hits and walked two, striking out five. One of the hits off him was Jung Ho Kang's solo homer in the fourth, his eighth of the season and third in five games.
"I'm very happy, I'm excited that I helped the team to win, especially that I went a little bit deeper in the game today," Iglesias said through translator and teammate Brayan Pena. "I'm very thankful to my teammates because they played a really good game for me, and I just went out there and did my job."
Major League Baseball's top winner with 14, Cole allowed three runs in a five-inning start against the Reds for the third time this season, and he was roughed up for five runs in 4 2/3 innings of another start against Cincinnati. In his other 17 starts, all quality, Cole has averaged seven innings and 1.3 runs.
"There were some good battles mixed in there. I executed a lot of pitches, but the bottom line is it wasn't enough," said Cole, now 0-3 against the Reds and 14-2 against all other teams.
Francisco Cervelli hit an RBI single in the ninth off Reds closer Aroldis Chapman, but Chapman struck out Starling Marte to get out of a bases-loaded jam and earn his 22nd save.
"We pushed it, had our best at-bats of the night," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of the short-circuited ninth-inning rally. "We put ourselves in position to do something significant."
"It seemed like we were doing a lot of things right defensively," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "Chapman was throwing the ball well, it was coming out real hard and threw some really nice sliders, and they did a good job of putting the bat on the ball and creating some offensive opportunities there. Chapman and the team endured, and it was good to see."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Cole empties his tank: Each of the three runs off Cole was somewhat tainted, none more so than the eventual winning run in the fifth. After Brandon Phillips led off with a single, a passed ball by catcher Chris Stewart advanced him to second, from where he scored the unearned run on a two-out double by Jay Bruce. So otherwise striking out the side (Joey Votto, Todd Frazier, Marlon Byrd) was of little help to Cole, who was done after that frame.
"A lot of battle at-bats," Hurdle said of the Reds' approach that drove Cole's pitch count to 98 by the end of that fifth. "At the end of the day, results were not all that bad. Three runs? One walk and eight strikeouts? This is a guy getting better every time out." More >
Reds counter with RBI doubles: After watching Kang tie the game with a solo homer in the top of the fourth, the Reds responded to regain the lead in the bottom half. Byrd and Pena strung together back-to-back singles to start the rally, and Suarez was able to double down the left-field line to score Byrd from second base. Bruce would add to the Reds' lead with an RBI double in the fifth inning to make it 3-1.
Iglesias bounces back: Iglesias was able to bounce back from Kang's solo home run in the fourth inning to retire the next nine batters he faced. The streak was eventually snapped with a two-out single by Neil Walker in the seventh inning.
"At that moment I was very upset, I was really upset because I knew that I had made a mistake with that pitch location," Iglesias said through translator Pena. "But at the same time, I talked to myself, 'Hey, you know, it's a tied game, so let's go back there and let's give the team a chance to win,' and that's exactly what I did. I focused back, and I tried to finish strong." More >
Hamilton hits milestone: Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton stole second and third base in the third inning to record his 50th and 51st stolen bases of the season. It only took Hamilton 93 games to reach the milestone mark, and he is now 51-for-58 in stolen-base opportunities this season. More >
"If you just move him up, they'll probably take the bat out of [Andrew] McCutchen's hand." -- Hurdle, when Marte told him about his plan to bunt against reliever J.J. Hoover after Gregory Polanco had led off the eighth with a single -- to either beat it out for a hit or at least to advance the runner. Marte did proceed to bunt on his own but lined out to Votto at first base
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Pirates, losers of two of the first three games to the Reds, are in danger of dropping a four-game series for the first time this season. Thus far, they have won two and split three others.
Pirates: Charlie Morton hopes to change his playlist from the July blues to something a little more uplifting when he faces the Reds in Sunday's 1:10 p.m. ET finale of the four-game series. The righty has pitched to a 5.04 ERA in five starts since picking up his last win on June 27.
Reds: Right-handed rookie Keyvius Sampson will make his first career start to wrap up a four-game series against the Pirates on Sunday. Sampson -- who made his Major League debut on Thursday out of the bullpen -- will be the 12th Reds pitcher and sixth rookie to start a game this season. First pitch is at 1:10 p.m. ET.
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