There were a couple of failures in this one. James McDonald was looking for his tenth win on the year. The Pirates were on the cusp of a sweep. Neither happened as Dontrelle Willis pitched well and broke a tie with a two run double in the sxith.
Cincinnati was on McDonald from the outset. Brandon Phillips walked to lead off the game. Joey Votto and Jay Bruce each singled to make it 1-0 Reds before the Pirates even batted. More of the same in the second. Juan Francisco doubled leading off. Devin Mesoraco reached on a miscue by Josh Harrison. Francisco was standing on third and Mesoraco on second when the dust settled. Paul Janish lifted a fly ball that scored Francsico. A single from Phillips scored Mesorasco and it was 3-0 Reds.
Willis ran into his lone bit of trouble in the third. Derrek Lee singled. He moved to third on a pair of wild pitches. Ryan Ludwick walked. d’Arnaud tripled into the Notch to get them both home on a ball that looked like Reds left fielder Dave Sappelt took a poor route to get to. Michael McKenry followed with a sac fly to even it at three.
It stayed like that until the sixth inning. Daniel Moskos relieved McDonald and allowed the Reds to break the tie. Mesoraco singled with one out. Janish doubled him to third. Willis followed with his double that emptied the bases and put the Reds up 5-3. Chris Leroux relieved and got the next two outs.
The Pirates would have a chance in the ninth. Francisco Cordero walked Andrew McCutchen. He moved up when Cordero uncorked a wild pitch. Neil Walker doubled him in with one gone. But Cordero whiffed Garrett Jones and got a fly ball out from Pedro Alvarez to end it.
McDonald was pulled after five innings. He allowed one earned run (three overall) on six hits. He whiffed four and walked a pair. Willis allowed the first three Pirate runs in six innings. Those tallies came on just three hits and two walks. He struck out six. Cordero got the shaky save in the ninth.
Continued good support from the Black and Gold faithful as there was another strong crowd. Helps that the Steelers play tonight.
d’Arnaud had two hits, scored one and drove in two.
McDonald failed to get his tenth win on the year.
Bucs whiffed eleven times.
McDonald falls to 3-2 against the Reds. Willis moves to 3-6 against the Pirates. He hadn’t beaten them since 2005 and had lost four straight decisions against them prior to this contest.
Francisco has three of his six doubles in the last two games.
Bruce now has 95 RBI. This is the first time since 2004 that the Reds had at least two hitters with 95 RBI. Back in 2004 in it was Adam Dunn and Sean Casey.
The last win for Willis was 6/5/10 agaisnt Colorado. He is hitting a cool .400 on the year.