CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Reds tied one dubious record and set another with one pitch on Friday mogjt. Amd tjem wemt on to lose the game as well.
Jung Ho Kang’s seventh-inning home run for Pittsburgh off of Blake Wood not only tied the score at 6, but it also was the 236th allowed by Reds pitchers this season, tying the franchise record set in 2004. It also was the 93rd allowed by Reds relievers, breaking the major league record of 92 set in 1964 by the Kansas City Athletics.
“You have to do special things to get special numbers,” manager Bryan Price said. “Unfortunately, it is one we’re not proud of. It’s not the ballpark, either. We’re not using that excuse. We had a lot of players here early that weren’t ready to pitch at this level because of injuries. We have to get better or find guys who can pitch at this level.”
Jordy Mercer had an RBI single with the bases loaded in the 10th inning, David Freese added a two-run single, and the Pirates overcame some shaky defense to preserve their chances in the NL wild-card race with a 9-7 win over the Reds on Friday night.
The Pirates loaded the bases against Tony Cingrani (2-5) with a walk and two infield hits before Mercer snapped a 6-6 tie with a single to left. Freese singled to center two batters later.
“You can’t walk the leadoff man,” Price said. “It’s basically a nothing-nothing game. You have to come in throwing strikes. Tony has had a terrific year, but that’s been his nemesis lately.”
Gregory Polanco also homered to help the Pirates to their third win in four games after a four-game losing streak. Pittsburgh remained 5 1/2 games behind the New York Mets for the NL’s second wild card.
Antonio Bastardo (3-0) pitched a perfect ninth and Tony Watson allowed Steve Selsky’s first career home run before finishing up for his 13th save.
“I hit it good enough,” Selsky said. “I guess a lot of people dream of their first major league home run. I got the ball. My wife and her parents just made it here to see it.”
The teams combined to use 15 pitchers.
Polanco followed Andrew McCutchen’s RBI double with a two-run homer to right in the first, his first since Aug. 29.
After Brandon Phillips’ RBI single in the first, Ramon Cabrera tied the game 3-3 with a two-run homer in the second. Robert Stephenson hit Kang with a pitch with the bases loaded to give the Pirates a 4-3 lead in the fifth.
Scott Schebler cashed in on two Pittsburgh fielding gaffes with a tiebreaking triple to give the Reds a 6-4 lead in the fifth.
Joey Votto singled with one out in the sixth for a 4-4 tie. One out later, Brandon Phillips reached when pitcher Ryan Vogelsong dropped first baseman John Jaso’s throw for an error. Schebler followed with a line drive to center field that McCutchen uncharacteristically misplayed, allowing it to sail past him and roll to the wall for a two-run triple.
The start of the game was delayed 31 minutes by rain, one day before the teams play a day-night doubleheader created by a postponement from May 10.
Stephenson grazed Kang with a pitch in the first inning and plunked him solidly with the bases loaded in the fifth, pushing to 20 the number of Pirate batters hit by Reds pitchers this season and to 53 the number over the last four seasons, the most by any major league staff against any opponent.
A drone was spotted flying around outside the ballpark before and during the game. A Reds spokesman said the Federal Aviation Administration had given the City of Cincinnati permission to let the drone record events on Friday and Sunday along the Ohio River.
Pirates: Continuing low back problems kept LF Starling Marte out of Friday’s starting lineup. Marte hasn’t played since Sept. 5.
Reds: A day off on Thursday wasn’t enough for SS Zack Cozart’s right knee to improve enough to play. Cozart hasn’t played because of soreness in the surgically repaired knee since being scratched from Sunday’s starting lineup.
Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (1-1) is scheduled to make his first major league start in the second game of Saturday’s day-night doubleheader. RHP James Taillon (3-4) is the first-game starter.
Reds: RHP Anthony DeSclafani (8-3) can match the career high for wins he set last season in doubleheader’s first game. LHP Robert Finnegan (9-10) is scheduled to start the second game.