Pirates lose both games of doubleheader
Reds outfield Darnell McDonald slides across home plate with the winning run after a wild pitch from Pirates pitcher Jesse Chavez, covering home at right, in the bottom of ninth inning of Game 1 of a doubleheader yesterday.
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CINCINNATI -- After losing the first game on a ninth-inning wild pitch, shades of Bob Moose 1972 though in a far less meaningful game than the National League Championship Series finale, the Pirates tonight saw a nightcap defeat today extend their losing streak to five consecutive games -- the fourth such skid this season.
Cincinnati leadoff hitter Drew Stubbs had a lot to do with this day-night doubleheader sweep, homering to lead off a 4-3 victory in the first game and bopping a two-run shot in the Reds' final at-bat of the nightcap to seal a 6-3 triumph.
Before an announced crowd of 9,087 for the second game, the Reds got to Paul Maholm (7-8) early and often, leaving him with a 1-4 record in his past nine starts.
To open the home first inning, Drew Stubbs singled and scored on Paul Yanish's double. One out later, Brandon Phillips singled home Janish. After Scott Rolen snuck a hit past Pirates shortstop Ronny Cedeno, who snapped his glove as if he thought he snagged the ball, Jonny Gomes smacked a ground-rule double into the right-field corner to score Phillips. Maholm, however, managed to escape a bases-loaded jam with a strikeout of his counterpart, Cueto, who began walking away from home after what he thought was a third strike got called a ball. Two pitches later, he was fanned, as he originally suspected.
Phillips clouted a home run measured at 398 feet to open the third inning for a 4-0 Reds advantage.
Andrew McCutchen homered to open the sixth and close the book on Johnny Cueto, who allowed just two hits and a walk in five previously scoreless innings. And this after he lost six of eight starts prior to going on the disabled list with right-shoulder inflammation.
Daniel Ray Herrera got two quick outs, then the Pirates rallied. Ryan Doumit got his first hit after going 0-for-his-past-15 plate appearances, a single to right. Steve Pearce's double scored Doumit, and, after a Brandon Moss single, Ronny Cedeno scored Pearce with a single up the middle. Ramon Vazquez flew out to end the threat, falling short of tying the game against a Nick Masset who pitched the ninth inning and got the victory in the opening game.
The Pirates lost the front half of the doubleheader in a game attended by barely 1,000 patrons, when a Jesse Chavez slider got away from catcher Jason Jaramillo. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, pinch-hitter Darnell McDonald singled to left, moved to second on Craig Tatum's single to right and advanced to third on a flyout to right by Paul Janish. On a 2-0 pitch to Stubbs, who opened the game with heroics, Chavez threw a wild pitch that allowed McDonald to score with the winning run.
First Published August 31, 2009 4:19 pm