Pair of firsts: Pirates position player pitches to Reds reliever

Right fielder Travis Snider took the mound Wednesday night with the Pirates down big.

Reds reliever J.J. Hoover made his first MLB career plate appearance in the ninth inning Wednesday against a guy making his MLB pitching debut.

Pittsburgh sent outfielder Travis Snider to the mound in the ninth inning with the score 9-3.

Snider was able to retire Skip Schumaker and Todd Frazier on groundouts to shortstop and struck out Joey Votto to end his one inning of work but walked two, including Hoover, and gave up two runs, including Hoover.

It was the first time Hoover had reached base in 19 professional plate appearances, according to He had struck 14 of those previous 18 trips to the plate, all in the minor leagues, with one sacrifice bunt. His last at-bat was for Triple-A Louisville in 2012.

Hoover used one of Ryan Ludwick’s bats. Ludwick’s only advice was for Hoover to swing it. Hoover did foul off a couple of pitches. He got to keep the bat.