CINCINNATI -- Using a lineup that carried four regular players, amid starters missing for myriad reasons, the Pirates poured on the offense to overcome the Reds. In a 12-3 victory over Cincinnati on Tuesday at Great American Ball Park, Pittsburgh broke out with six-run top of the fourth inning and didn't stop there. Ten of its runs came with two outs.
"Obviously we're not where we want to be yet, but I think we're making strides and getting better as a whole group," Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer said. "Some guys are here and there, but I think it's going to take all of us to get where we want to be. We're going in the right direction. We're making the right steps."
Reds starter Scott Feldman took a 3-0 lead into the third inning until Mercer's RBI double in the third inning provided the Pirates' first run. It all fell apart for Feldman in the fourth with the go-ahead runs being provided by pitcher Tyler Glasnow. It was his bases-loaded single through the the middle that made it a 4-3 game. Next was Cincinnati-native Josh Harrison, who crushed a three-run homer to left field -- his third in two games.
"Everything just kind of snowballed," Feldman said. "I've got to do a better job there. Obviously, the guys came out and put up a three-spot in the first inning and things were looking good for us. Then that fourth inning just got away from me."
For his first big league victory, Glasnow overcame a tough first inning that included Joey Votto's three-run homer and eight men batting. He struck out the side in the second inning on 11 pitches and went on to pitch six innings with three earned runs, four hits, four walks and five strikeouts. Glasnow entered the night with a 7.98 ERA in his first four starts of 2017. He credited pitching coach Ray Searage for his improvement on Tuesday.
"Ray looked back at when I was good in my old video, and we have identified some stuff," Glasnow said. "Stuff he's told me, I went out in the second inning and did that and just went straight back to how I felt when I was good. It was weird. And yeah, it felt good."
Feldman was on the hook for seven earned runs and six hits with two walks and three strikeouts. He is winless in each of his last three starts and hasn't worked more than five innings in four of his six starts. The Reds signed him, in part, to be a veteran innings eater.
"I think every time as a starting pitcher you take the ball, six innings is pretty much the least amount you want to throw," Feldman said. "These four-inning, five-inning starts that I've had a couple of now, they're not ideal."
In the seventh inning after Reds reliever Robert Stephenson notched two outs and then loaded the bases, rookie Gift Ngoepe lined a two-run single off of shortstop Zack Cozart's glove to spark a five-run inning. After managing only three hits Monday night, Pittsburgh batted around in both the fourth and seventh innings to beat the Reds for the first time in five tries this season.
"If we knew what worked, we'd do it all the time," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "Right now, we're still trying to find our way and get into a good rhythm, but I know there's going to be a fight and we're going to battle. If we don't get it done that night, we're going to try to figure it out and try to get it done better the next night. That's what we did tonight."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Got all of it: Following Glasnow giving up back-to-back walks to begin his night, Votto attacked a 94 mph 0-1 fastball. The drive, which left the bat at 103 mph, careened off of the top of the batter's eye in center field. According to Statcast™, it was a 449-foot home run -- the longest he's hit in the Statcast™ era that began in 2015. It surpassed his previous long of 424 feet, which Votto hit vs. the Brewers on Sept. 19, 2015. More >
First RBIs for Glasnow: After Alen Hanson stole second base to put runners on second and third base in the fourth, the Reds elected to intentionally walk Mercer to load the bases for Glasnow with two outs. The rookie banged a bouncer through the middle for his first hit of the season and second of his brief career, scoring Jose Osuna and Hanson to also give himself his first two RBIs. Glasnow also walked twice in the game, including with the bases loaded on four pitches in the seventh inning for his third RBI.
"That was cool," Glasnow said. "Just give my team a chance to win, especially right there [in the fourth inning], and they ended up scoring a ton of runs."
"It was just a poorly pitched game tonight. We couldn't get anything really going. Twelve runs on 10 hits, that's a bad number. The 12 is bad enough but only on 10 hits, [it] suggests there are some things that went wrong. We are certainly better than that and need to pitch and play better." -- Reds manager Bryan Price, on his pitching staff allowing eight walks and all of those two-out runs
"The one thing I found out after 26 games is we're really interesting. I don't know what's going to happen, but I know I'm going to show up to watch it. We go out there, we fight and we play. Some nights, it's better than others." -- Hurdle, on the 12-14 Pirates
Pirates clubhouse manager Scott Bonnett was busy passing out authenticated baseballs late Tuesday night. In addition to Glasnow's first Major League win and RBI, the Bucs witnessed catcher Elias Diaz's first big league hit, a seventh-inning infield single.
"Big night. For him and for me," Diaz said, smiling. "He got the first win in the Majors and I got the first hit in the Majors."
Diaz made his debut in September 2015, a seldom-used callup on a postseason-bound team, and missed parts of last season due to elbow and leg injuries. He was called up Monday to bolster the Bucs' catching corps, down a man while Francisco Cervelli tends to a sore foot, and got the start Tuesday night. He hit a hard line drive to right field in the fourth, but Scott Schebler got to it in time. Diaz bounced a high chopper and reached safely in the seventh.
WHAT'S NEXT Pirates: Right-hander Jameson Taillon will start for the Pirates Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Great American Ball Park. Taillon received a no-decision after a six-inning, two-run start against the Reds on April 11 at PNC Park. He has been dominant on the road this season, going 2-0 with a 0.47 ERA in three starts.
Reds:Rookie Davis will be back on the mound for the Reds and will be needed to get deeper in the game. None of Davis' three big league starts have lasted longer than four innings, including when he bruised his right forearm at Pittsburgh when hit by a pitch on April 11, forcing him to the disabled list.