The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

April 15, 2014

Pirates edge out Reds in suspended game

Cincinnati — 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.

The NL Central rivals put on a record-setting show Monday night before the game was suspended after six innings because of rain. They combined for 10 homers in those six innings, the most for a game in Great American Ball Park’s 12 seasons.

“You just keep playing,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “It’s something we take pride in. Things we can control, we try and stay on top of those. Things that are out of our control, you’ve got to let it go.”

A few hundred fans were bundled in the stands when the game resumed with the temperature at 39 degrees. It was 66 degrees for the first pitch the previous evening.

McCutchen doubled off Sam LeCure (0-1) one out after play resumed and came around on a wild pitch and Martin’s single up the middle, only the second run of the game that didn’t come by way of a homer. McCutchen also singled in the ninth for his third hit of the game.

The Pirates improved to 6-2 in one-run games, while the Reds fell to 2-6.

“A big swing of the bat from Martin to drive in the plus-one, so it’s another one-run game,” Hurdle said.

Bryan Morris (2-0) gave up Devin Mesoraco’s tying solo homer in the sixth inning on Monday night, but was still the pitcher of record. Jason Grilli pitched the ninth for his fourth save in five chances.

The Pirates had a double, three singles and a walk after play resumed. The Reds managed only a single and a walk.

“Last night, we go six innings and score 14 runs,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “It was a tale of two completely different games.”

The teams wore their customary uniforms for the completion of the suspended game, and then switched to commemorative No. 42 Jackie Robinson jerseys for the other game, which started 5 minutes later than originally scheduled.

The series opener will be remembered more for what happened during a downpour. Many of the 10 combined homers on Monday were hit during a heavy rain – players were surprised that the balls cleared the walls under those conditions. Plus, both teams had struggled to score runs in the opening weeks of the season, ranking in the bottom three in the NL.

Those six innings rank among the wildest in major league history.

“It was a Twilight Zone game, to be honest with you,” Price said.

Pittsburgh had three sets of back-to-back homers, only the third time that’s happened in major league history, according to STATS. The other two times: Cincinnati against the Braves in 1956, and Boston against the Yankees in 1977.

Neil Walker and Gaby Sanchez went back-to-back twice, only the second time that’s happened in Pirates history. Toby Atwell and Jerry Lynch also went back-to-back twice against the Reds on April 27, 1954, according to STATS.

Pittsburgh hit six homers – all solo shots – and the Reds had four, all with two outs. The teams had a combined 17 hits before the suspension, 10 of them homers.

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