The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Pro

September 28, 2013

Pirates one win from hosting playoff

CINCINNATI — Marlon Byrd had three hits and Pedro Alvarez hit a two-run homer high off the batter’s eye on Friday night, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Cincinnati Reds 4-1 in a series that could decide the NL wild-card game host.

Both teams clinched postseason berths this week. Whoever wins the three-game series would be assured of hosting the one-game playoff on Tuesday night.

The St. Louis Cardinals clinched their first NL Central title in four years, beating the Chicago Cubs 7-0 Friday night

The Pirates knew the wild card was more likely, and they’re one win away from taking it to PNC Park.

Byrd and Alvarez provided all of the Pirates’ runs off Homer Bailey (11-12), who is struggling with his control heading into the postseason.

A.J. Burnett (10-11) handled the Reds’ slumping lineup, allowing Todd Frazier’s homer and five hits overall in eight innings.

Jason Grilli gave up a hit in the ninth while getting his 33rd save in 35 chances.

Cincinnati has lost three straight and scored one run in the last 22 innings.

The bruising, tight-as-could-be series has gone up and down the Ohio River all summer long with neither team able to get much advantage. The Pirates lead the series 9-8. Fourteen of the 17 games have been decided by three runs or less. Batters have been plunked 26 times during the season series, most in the majors this year.

It’s the biggest series between them since 1990, when the Reds beat Barry Bonds and the Pirates to reach the World Series, where they swept Oakland for their last title.

The Pirates got the early advantage in this decisive series by beating Bailey, who threw the first of his two no-hitters at PNC Park on Sept. 28 last year. Since then, he’s failed to beat the Pirates in four starts, going 0-3.

Control has been a problem lately.

He helped the Pirates load the bases in the third on a hit batter and a pair of walks, and Byrd – an August trade acquisition from the Mets – singled through the hole at shortstop for a 2-0 lead.

Byrd doubled off the top of the wall in center field to open the sixth, and Alvarez hit his 35th homer high off the batter’s eye for a 4-1 lead that ended Bailey’s outing. He gave up four runs, four hits, four walks, hit two batters and threw a wild pitch.

Burnett handled Cincinnati’s slumping lineup, retiring the last 10 batters he faced. Frazier hit his 19th homer off the screen on the left-field foul pole in the fourth, ending Cincinnati’s streak of 16 scoreless innings.

Joey Votto singled twice, surpassing Pete Rose’s club record of reaching base 311 times in a season.

Notes: The Reds wore their Los Rojos jerseys to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. ... Pirates manager Clint Hurdle will change his starting pitcher on Sunday if nothing’s at stake. RH Gerrit Cole (10-7) is scheduled to go against RH Johnny Cueto (5-2). Hurdle would keep Cole available as insurance for the wild-card game on Tuesday. ... Alvarez’s homer gave him 99 RBIs. ... Reds manager Dusty Baker doesn’t plan to use LH Tony Cingrani in relief during the series. Cingrani is recovering from his second bout of back spasms. ... Bronson Arroyo (14-11) starts today against Pittsburgh’s Charlie Morton (7-4).  Morton has given up only one run in his last three starts at Great American Ball Park, throwing two complete games.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Pro
  • Pirates 0417 Pirates power past Brewers

    Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.
    Harrison’s two-run drive down the left field line off Rob Wooten (0-1) was the second of his career as a pinch hitter.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0417 Jackets preparing for Game 2

    The Columbus Blue Jackets don’t feel they’re doomed after blowing a two-goal lead in a Game 1 loss of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
    “It’s not about missed chances, or feeling sorry about it,” goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky said at Thursday’s optional workout, 13 hours after falling 4-3 in Pittsburgh.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • racin 0416 Jennerstown Speedway gearing for May open

    Jennerstown Speedway released a very ambitious schedule on its website and continues to prepare for its 2014 reopening.
    The track is set to hold a practice day for drivers as well as an open house and media day on April 26.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pirates 0416 Dominant Cueto drops Pirates in matinee

    That playoff loss in Pittsburgh last year? Johnny Cueto never thought about it much. So getting a chance to shut out the Pirates in a rematch wasn’t any more special.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0416 Penguins rally to wear out Jackets

    Brandon Sutter scored on a wrist shot from the left circle 8:18 into the third period, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins rally for a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Wednesday night.
    Beau Bennett and Matt Niskanen scored power-play goals 45 seconds apart in the second period, erasing Pittsburgh’s two-goal deficit.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shelley and McElligot Series serves as reunion for former Chiefs personnel

    Not so long ago, Bob McElligott, like most Western Pennsylvania hockey fans, would savor a long Pittsburgh Penguins playoff run.
    The Somerset native followed the Pens’ Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and 1992.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malkin nearing return

    The Columbus Blue Jackets are the closest NHL team to the Pittsburgh Penguins, at least geographically. The two franchises are separated by 185 miles of highway.

    April 15, 2014

  • Reds swing way past Pirates

    Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole's winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays.
    First, the NL Central rivals completed a game that was suspended in the sixth inning because of rain the previous night.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pirates Game 1 0415 Pirates edge out Reds in suspended game

    After all those home runs and an overnight delay, it was settled by a single.
    Andrew McCutchen doubled and came around on Russell Martin’s single in the seventh inning on Tuesday, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates an 8-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the completion of a game that spanned two days and 10 home runs.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0414 Pressure on Penguins to capture Cup

    The statistics are gaudy.
    And if the Pittsburgh Penguins can’t find a way to extend their season into the final days of spring, ultimately forgettable.
    The same team that led the NHL in man games lost due to injury (more than 500) also earned 109 points, led the Metropolitan Division from mid-October on and received another peerless effort from star Sidney Crosby, who topped the league with 104 points and is a near lock for the second MVP award of his career.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads