The Pirates fell back to the .500 mark in losing a series to the Reds at home. Johnny Cueto was very solid, tossing eight shutout innings and striking out nine Pirates. The Buccos managed just four singles and a walk.
Jeff Karstens was scuffling from the start. He was pitching from the stretch most of the day and needed 95 pitches to complete five innings. Cueto needed just 14 more tosses than that to pitch eight innings.
The damage was started by a deep homer from Jay Bruce in the second. One inning later, Ramon Hernandez delivered a three run double.
Brandon Moss had a pair of assists.
Evan Meek tossed three scoreless innings in relief of Karstens.
Karstens didn’t have it today.
This was the 7th time in 24 games that the Pirates have allowed five more runs. Through the first 24 games in 2008, the Pirates allowed five or more tallies an astounding 14 times. That number was 10 in 2007. The team ERA is a full two runs lower in 2009 than it was this time last year.
On the flip side, this was the 12th time in 24 games the Pirates have scored three or less times. In 2008 through the first 24 games, the Pirates were held to three runs or less 10 times. Overall, the offense has scored three more runs in 2009 than in 2008.
Through 24 games, the 2008 version of the team was 9-15.