By HAL McCOY
CINCINNATI – It was sort of like the movie network: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more.”
That must have been how the Pittsburgh Pirates felt early in a game Tuesday night in Great American Ball Park.
They had lost four straight games to the Reds this season and they were down three runs before Pittsburgh pitcher Tyler Glasnow recorded an out. If it were a boxing match, Glasnot would have been out on his feet. But he never went down.
And the Pirates snapped in the fourth inning, led by Cincinnati slayer and Cincinnati native Josh Harrison. The Pirates scored six runs off Reds starter Scott Feldman, including a three-run home run by Harrison and it launched them toward a 12-3 Pirates’ revenge.
HARRISON HOMERED HIS LAST two at bats Monday night when the Reds won, 4-3, in 10 innings. He took two called strike threes his first two time up Tuesday — and wasn’t happy about either one.
The Pirates had scored three times in the fourth, two on a single by opposing pitcher Tyler Glasnow to take a 4-3 lead when Harrison clubbed his three-run blast. And the track meet was on.
“We’re going to send everybody to Harrison’s house to sleep tonight,” said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle.
IT LOOKED AS IF THE REDS might rival the 23 runs the Washington Nationals scored over the weekend against the New York Mets in the bottom of the first.
Glasnow walked Billy Hamilton, who stole second and third. Glasnow walked Zack Cozart on a full count. And Glasnow gave up a three-run home run to Joey Votto and it was 3-0 with nobody out in the first.
He then walked Adam Duvall before he got an out and Jose Peraza singled with two outs, putting runners on first and third. But Devin Mesoraco flied to center and the Reds were finished scoring in the first inning and, in fact, finished for the night.
“Tyler was in a hard spot,” said Hurdle. “It was fight or flight. And he fought. Ray Searage (pitching coach) was able to go out and have a nice talk with im and he was able to regroup.”
ROBERT STEPHENSON REPLACED Feldman and had two outs with nobody on in the seventh inning. But John Jaso doubled, Jose Osuna walked and Elias Diaz dribbled his first major-league hit behind the mound to load the bases.
Gift Ngoepe of Randburg, South Africa, the first man from the African continent to play Major League baseball, lined a hard single to left for two runs and a 9-3 Pirates lead.
Blake Wood replaced Stephenson and Wood walked opposing pitcher Glasnow on four pitches with the bases loaded, giving Glasnow a 10-3 lead and three RBI for the game. Wood then threw a wild pitch to permit another run and an 11-3 score and catcher Stuart Turner was charged with a passed ball that permitted another run and a 12-3 deficit.
It was ugliest at its mightiest for Reds pitchers.
MEANWHILE, AFTER GIVING UP three runs, two hits and three walks in the first inning, Glasnow gave up no runs, two hits and one walk over the next five innings en route to the first win of his major league career.
“He walked three in the first inning and got a fastball middle up to Votto and he hit it where he can hit it,” said Hurdle. “So he is three hitters into the game and he is down 3-0 and they’ve taken one swing. From there, his command of the fastball came back and with the mix of his changeup and his curve he got on a roll and he started making pitches, throwing strikes with everything.”
Glasnow has an early history of digging troublesome holes for himself in the first inning, but with the help from Searage he dug is way out of this one.
“That’s kind of been a theme for all my starts this year,” said Glasnow. “I don’t start out well so I guess I’ve had a lot of practice with it.”
And that’s where Searage comes in and Glasnow said, “The reason I did well after the first inning was Ray. I’ve been working with him and we have been working on some stuff. But in that first inning I went straight back to what I was doing before.”
So Searage came to the mound for some steerage for Glasnow.
“It has been two years of doing things that were uncomfortable, so Ray came up to me and said, ‘Remember what we did. Let’s fix it in the second inning.’ I made sure to focus on that, so go thank Ray. He has helped me a ton.”