PITTSBURGH — Things got away from Pirates starter James McDonald in the fifth inning Saturday as the Reds scored seven runs to break open a 2-2 tie.
Juan Francisco singled in a run with the bases loaded and Ramon Hernandez followed with a grand slam to left field that put the Reds ahead, 7-2. Mike Crotta came in to relieve McDonald and immediately got the second out of the inning, but two batters later he gave up a two-run homer to Drew Stubbs for a 9-2 lead.
“I had a bad game,” McDonald said. “A lot of balls weren’t going exactly where I wanted them to. I was off.”
Joe Beimel came on in relief in the sixth inning, surrendering a two-run home run to Jonny Gomes — his second of the game — to push the Cincinnati lead to 11-2.
“This team has a real short memory,” Gomes said. “We left the double doors and came back and put some pretty good swings on the ball. With the cool weather and the wind, you don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Trailing 2-0 in the top of the fourth, the Pirates scored two runs with the bases loaded. Garrett Jones walked in a run, scoring Neil Walker. Ronny Cedeno followed with a sacrifice fly to left field, tying the score.
It was the last run the Pirates would score, though, falling, 11-2.
“We scored a lot of runs today,” Hernandez said. “Especially after [getting] just one run last night, it gives you a little confidence back.”
Chris Gates | Bucs Blog