The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

June 20, 2013

Alvarez drives in all five Pirates’ runs in win over Reds

CINCINNATI — Pedro Alvarez hasn’t changed anything in June, except those RBI numbers. They’re way up there, just like the Pirates.

Alvarez drove in all of Pittsburgh’s runs with a solo homer, bases-loaded double and a single on Thursday for a 5-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds and a split of their high-profile NL Central series.

The Pirates remain a half-game behind second-place Cincinnati after the four-game set, keeping them virtually shoulder-to-shoulder as they chase the torrid St. Louis Cardinals.

After blowing a one-run lead in the ninth and losing 2-1 in 13 innings on Wednesday night, Pittsburgh salvaged a game behind Alvarez and a bullpen running on fumes.

“We needed a big day from a number of people today and Pedro was one of them,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “There was no bigger swing than with the bases loaded, left-on-left. Beautiful.”

Alvarez had an RBI single and his 16th homer off Homer Bailey, who couldn’t follow his no-hitter against Pittsburgh with a win. After Alfredo Simon (5-3) loaded the bases in the seventh, Alvarez doubled off left-hander Tony Cingrani to snap a 2-all tie.

The five RBI were a season high for a Pirate and one shy of Alvarez’s career high. The third baseman has been Pittsburgh’s top run producer in June, leading the team with 48 RBI overall.

It’s quite a change. Alvarez hit .180 in April and .225 in May before finding his form. He has six homers in June, second-most in the NL.

“I just think it’s repetition and getting the opportunity to go out and try to gain as much experience as I can from every day out there,” Alvarez said.

Bryan Morris (4-2) contributed to the go-ahead rally with his first career single. He also pitched two innings, allowing one run. Left-hander Tony Watson pitched the last two innings for his second save in three chances.

The Pirates lead the season series 6-4, holding their own early in the season despite a rotation that’s sapped by injuries and a lineup that strikes out a lot and wastes chances. Under the circumstances, the way the series ended was satisfying.

“We don’t expect anything less,” Morris said. “It’s good to not lose any ground. Definitely would have loved to have three out of four in the series, but we’re not complaining about the split, especially after the hard game last night.”

Jay Bruce hit another solo homer, his third of the series and his fifth in seven games. His ninth-inning shot off Jason Grilli led the way to the draining 13-inning win on Wednesday night.

The teams combined for seven homers in the series, all solo shots. Cincinnati hit four in a 4-1 win that opened it.

Brandon Cumpton made his second major league start for Pittsburgh, giving up two runs – one earned – in five innings.

Bailey faced the Pirates for the first time since his no-hitter at PNC Park last September and left after six innings with the score tied at 2. He gave up six hits, throwing 113 pitches. Bailey is 8-2 career against Pittsburgh.

“They’ve definitely made strides over the past couple of years, but it’s early,” Bailey said. “They have a good club but the past couple of years, they’ve fallen into the pattern of fading, so we’ll see. It’s a long season.”

Alvarez’s throwing error helped the Reds get an unearned run in the first. Shin-Shoo Choo reached on Alvarez’s team-high 13th error, stole second and came around on Joey Votto’s single.

Another batter got hit, extending a prominent theme to the Ohio River rivals’ series this season. At least one batter has been plunked in each of the 10 games, with 19 hit overall. Pirate pitchers have hit 10, Reds pitchers 9, leaving some simmering unhappiness on both sides.

Choo has been hit six times, Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen three times each, Brandon Phillips twice, and five others one time apiece.

Notes: The official scorer changed a call from Wednesday night game. Russell Martin’s grounder off Bronson Arroyo’s glove was originally ruled an error, leaving the Pirates’ lone run unearned. It was changed to a hit. ... The Pirates added to their depleted bullpen by calling up RH Duke Welker from Triple-A and optioning OF Alex Presley. ... A day after actor James Gandolfini died, Reds 3B and New Jersey native Todd Frazier replaced his Frank Sinatra at-bat music with the theme from “The Sopranos.”  ... Pittsburgh struck out 8, 17, 10 and 12 times in the four games. ... The Pirates head to the West Coast to play three against the Angels and two in Seattle. The Reds have an eight-game trip to Arizona, Oakland and Texas.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Pirates 0720 Pirates rally to keep sweep

    Taking the extra base was the key for the Pittsburgh Pirates in completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies.
    Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-3 Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • LAG 0720 AAABA League playoffs: Laurel Auto Group moves closer to advancing

    Second-seeded Laurel Auto Group fell behind early against No. 3 Berkley Hills Renegades on Sunday afternoon at Roxbury Park. But Laurel’s players didn’t lose their composure.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Urtz, Pope lead AAABA League award votes

    Logan Urtz hadn’t fielded a ground ball as an infielder or swung a bat in a game for a couple seasons.
    But you can’t take the former infielder out of a starting pitcher.

    July 20, 2014

  • Gorden, Joe Tribune-Democrat sports staffer departs after 44 years in newsroom

    Joe Gorden’s temporary assignment to The Tribune-Democrat sports department concluded on Thursday night after more than four decades.
    Gorden retired after 44 years at the newspaper, all but three of them in the sports department.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Steelers 0731 Steelers’ Brown eyeing encore to breakout season

    Antonio Brown rolled up to the dorms at Saint Vincent College last week in a Mercedes conversion van.
    It’s fitting in a way. Five years into a blossoming career, the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver is playing the role of dad – OK, maybe slightly older brother – to a group long on talent but short on experience.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bucs stand pat at non-waiver deadline

    The Pittsburgh Pirates will receive some welcome additions to their roster in the coming days.
    The faces, however, will be familiar.

    July 31, 2014

  • Blairsville pegged as team to beat

    As Heritage Conference football coaches assembled at United High School during Wednesday’s media day event at Thomas J. Madill Field, the near-consensus opinion is that Blairsville – under second-year coach Rick Artley – is going to be the team to beat once the season begins on Aug. 29.
    After the Bobcats, the forecasted picture gets a little foggier.

    July 30, 2014

  • tim Baserunning blunder helps Giants end six-game losing streak

    Clint Hurdle says he and a pal often marvel over how there’s always something new to see at a baseball game.
    Too bad for Hurdle. What he watched Wednesday wrecked the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 7-5 loss.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • shazier Rookie linebacker making impression at Steelers camp

    Ryan Shazier grew up the football equivalent of a Rorschach test.
    Some coaches looked at Shazier’s 6-foot-1 frame with plenty of room to grow and saw a defensive end.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Greene’s No. 75 will be retired at Ravens game

    Joe Greene’s No. 75 now belongs to the ages.
    The Pittsburgh Steelers announced Wednesday the team will retire the Hall of Fame defensive end’s number during a game against the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 2.

    July 30, 2014

AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Poll

Do you think pet obituaries should be included with death notices?

Yes, my pet is considered a member of the family.
No, pet obituaries are inappropriate.
Pet obituaries should be placed on a different page in the newspaper.
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide