Pirates 4, Reds 3
It’s been seven years since Pittsburgh won as many as 70 games
in a season. The Pirates waited that long; what was one more
Ryan Ludwick’s single in the bottom of the ninth drove in the
winning run and the Pirates came back from a blown save in the top
of the inning for a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday
Ludwick’s fly ball to deep center field fell for a single and
scored pinch-runner Chase d’Arnaud from second after pinch-hitter
Jason Jaramillo had doubled to left with one out.
”It felt like it was what I was supposed to do,” said Ludwick,
a trade-deadline acquisition who was hitting .231 in 34 games with
the Pirates. ”It’s been a while since I hit a walk-off, but it
Garrett Jones homered for the first time in more than a month
for Pittsburgh (70-87), which reached 70 wins for the first time
The Pirates had been a strike away from that elusive 70th
victory, but closer Joel Hanrahan hit Todd Frazier in the hand with
a 98 mph fastball, the eighth pitch of a dramatic at-bat with the
bases loaded and two outs in the top of the ninth.
The blown save was Hanrahan’s fourth in 43 opportunities.
”It was one of those days I didn’t have my good stuff, so you
try to find a way to make it work,” Hanrahan said. ”It’s a full
count there, and I think I hit my first guy of the year there.
Baseball’s a funny game.”
Paul Janish had two hits and an RBI and Joey Votto had his 99th
RBI for the Reds.
Ryan Doumit had two hits and an RBI and Andrew McCutchen added
two hits for Pittsburgh, which won for the second in its past seven
games overall and second time in its past seven home games.
Pirates starter Jeff Locke was on a pitch limit and was lifted
after 4 2-3 innings when his 80th pitch became an RBI double by
That left two men on, but Daniel Moskos got Jay Bruce to strike
out swinging to end the inning.
”We hit that young man over there pretty hard,” Reds manager
Dusty Baker said about Locke. ”We flirted with the fence probably
five or six times.
”We had plenty of opportunities, but we didn’t get the hit when
we needed it.”
Making his third career start, Locke was charged with one run,
six hits and two walks. He lasted only three innings in his most
”It’s a process,” the 23-year-old said. ”I’m definitely
taking the mound now, the nerves are gone, the composure’s there.
I’m still leaving some pitches up and falling behind some
Janish had an RBI single off Chris Leroux in the sixth, but
Chris Resop, Tony Watson and Jason Grilli combined for two
Pinch-hitter Chris Heisey started Cincinnati’s ninth with an
infield single and Brandon Phillips followed with a single. After a
fielder’s choice and a strikeout, Phillips and Drew Stubbs pulled
off a double steal. Bruce was intentionally walked and Frazier was
hit by the pitch.
”They didn’t really hit the ball too hard that inning,” Jones
said. ”They had some freak things happen, but we were able to help
Joel out. Ryan came up with the big hit.”
Jones homered for the first time since Aug. 21 after Doumit led
off the second with an infield single. Jones’ homer to right-center
off Edinson Volquez was his 16th and traveled an estimated 458
Doumit made it 3-0 in the second with a run-scoring single.
Making his third start since being recalled after his second
demotion to the minors this season, Volquez, Cincinnati’s opening
day starter, allowed three runs, six hits and two walks while
striking out five in five innings.
”I felt good. We didn’t win, but that’s part of the game,”
Volquez said. ”A lot of things happen during a game, but I was
happy to be back out here and pitch some innings.”
Notes: Barring setbacks, LHP Dontrelle Willis will start for the
Reds on Sunday. He has not pitched since Sept. 12 due to a back
injury. … The announced paid crowd of 23,632 pushed Pittsburgh’s
season total to 1,874,283 – the fourth-largest in club history. …
The previous time Cincinnati’s Saturday starter RHP Travis Wood
faced Pittsburgh, he had the shortest start of his career, 3 1-3
innings in a 9-3 loss April 18. … RHP Brad Lincoln will make his
final start of the season Saturday for the Pirates after allowing
six runs in 1 2-3 innings in his most recent outing.