CINCINNATI – Colin Moran has won a grand slam and twice a homer against his former team, bringing the Cincinnati Reds to the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-3 on Sunday.
Tyler Mahle scored five solid innings, and the Reds came on in the sixth after falling behind 2-0. Cincinnati took two of three against Pittsburgh to win in a row for the first time this season, fixing the worst record of major tournaments at 5-23.
The Reds lost nine straight and 20 of 21 defeats before winning the first game of Saturday’s match. The game on Friday night was in the rain.
Moran’s attack on the right field in the sixth half brought Cincinnati to a 5-2 lead. In the eighth he set the center with Kyle Farmer at first base, giving him six RBIs in a game for the first time in his career. These were his first two home runs this season.
Moran has spent the last four seasons in Pittsburgh after arriving from Houston in exchange for Gerrit Cole. He signed with the Reds in March and started his last six first-base games with player Joey Vott on the COVID-19 injury list. Moran started the day by hitting a .184 with one extra base shot.
He was shy when asked how special it was to do so much offensive damage against his old team.
“It feels good every time you hit a grand slam” said Moran. “But yes, everything was fine.”
Reds manager David Bell was more violent.
“The club is so happy for him,” said Bell. “Such a professional. He started the season not playing much and just stayed ready. It works super hard, quiet, but we know it can hit. Doing it right there against my old team, it was just a great day. It’s special when you have your friends there so you can go through it. ”
Mahle allowed just one goal, two runs by Homer Michael Perez in the second. Art Warren (1-1) came out three in two innings without a goal to win.
“Look at what Art did, went in and closed those middle innings,” said Bell. “I think there’s a lot to say about it and just the momentum of what it does for your attack.”
Pirate right-winger Zach Thompson also showed a good turnout, knocking out the Reds in five innings. He conceded two goals and scored six at his best start to the season.
Thompson was ill and did not know if he would be able to play until 90 minutes before the game.
“We were hoping to get three innings out of him,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “The fact that we got five was quite admirable. He was pretty dry after the fourth. “
In sixth place in Cincinnati, Brandon Drury scored a bloop single against dealer Dillon Peters (3-1), who walked the next three hitters to strength in the race.
Heath Hembree, who left the Reds bench last season, entered Pittsburgh and knocked out Farmer before serving a quick 2-1 ball that Moran broke into the right field bench.
Moran scored again in the eighth half from Chase De Jong, 404 feet shot to center.
“I missed a lot of my pitches so it was kind of good that I finally felt the barrel, and in that situation,” said Moran, who was stolen on Saturday by Jack Suwinsky as a right-wing Pirates player for Homer.
The Reds finally won a series of 28 games this season. They still have 15 players on the injured list, but there have been some clutches and decent throws, with the team showing improvement.
“It can start here” said Bell. “The boys keep playing. It was just a great series. So many great things have happened. Tyler, the start he had, the defense, the great bats. The guys just kept up the competition. As a team, we are very happy with the way we play. It was a really good weekend and it’s time to just move on. “
Pirates: Shelton said catcher Roberto Perez will miss significant time due to a tendon injury he sustained on Saturday. … Duane Underwood Jr. (knee tendon strain) he threw 34 throws while on Saturday he threw in two failed changes in a rehabilitation performance at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Reds: Bell said Votto and OF Nick Senzel have been in lineup for at least a few days. Both are on the list of injured by COVID-19.
The Reds selected right-hander Joel Kuhnel of Triple-A and nominated right-hander Robert Dugger for the award.
Pirates: Head home and send Jose Quintana (0-1, 3.38 ERA) up the hill against left-handed teammate Julius Urias (2-1, 1.88) and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the opening set of three games Monday night.
Cincinnati: RHP Luis Castillo should make his debut in 2022 on Monday night against RHP Brandon Woodruff (3-1, 5.18) in the opening of a three-game series with Milwaukee. Castillo came out with a strain on his right shoulder.