Nick Castellanos hit a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning, and the Cincinnati Reds added on late to win their third in a row, 5-3 over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.
With two more hits, Castellanos is 8-for-15 with seven runs scored and six RBIs on the young season. After Mike Moustakas tied the game at 2-2 with a solo homer in the fifth, Castellanos belted his third home run of the season, hitting the second-deck facade in left field to put the Reds up 3-2.
Rookie Jonathan India and Aristides Aquino each delivered RBI singles in the eighth to give the Reds a 5-2 lead heading into the ninth.
The Pirates’ Bryan Reynolds made things interesting by leading off the ninth with a deep solo homer to left-center field off Amir Garrett, but the Pirates stranded two runners in the frame en route to a third consecutive defeat.
Making his first start since 2016, Cincinnati’s Jose De Leon allowed first-inning solo homers to Phillip Evans and Colin Moran, but one other hit. He struck out nine and walked two over five-plus innings before exiting with nobody out and a man on in the sixth.
Pittsburgh starter JT Brubaker yielded one run and three hits while striking out six, but lasted only four innings due to four walks that contributed to his 82 total pitches.
Two batters into the game, Evans, starting in place of injured third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, crushed a pitch over the left-center field fence. Then two batters later, Moran made it 2-0 by going deep for a second consecutive contest.
Cincinnati got a run back with two outs in the second when De Leon delivered a two-out, RBI single off the glove of diving second-baseman Adam Frazier. The Reds were able to extend the inning after video replay overturned an out call on a force play at second base.
Moustakas’ two-out, tying homer off promising Pirates rookie reliever Luis Oviedo curled just inside the right-field foul pole. Moustakas also doubled and scored on India’s RBI single in the eighth.
The two teams struck out a combined 28 times.
–Field Level Media