By HAL McCOY
While the Pittsburgh Pirates littered the bases with stranded runners Wednesday night in Great American Ball Park, the Cincinnati Reds cleaned them off.
In the first four innings, the Pirates stranded eight runners and none scored. In the same time frame, the Reds clubbed a pair of three-run home runs to sweep the bases clean.
IT ALL ADDED UP TO a 7-2 Reds victory and the first major league win for rookie Rookie Davis.
Davis pitched out of problems in the second, third and fourth innings, leaving three on in the second, two on in the third and three on in the fourth. The Pirates went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
On the other side, Eugenio Suarez drilled a three-run home run in the first and Billy Hamilton crushed a three-run home run in the fourth to give Davis a 6-0 lead.
And the uprising didn’t come against any slouch. Pittsburgh starter Jameson Taillon came in with a 2-0 record and a 2.08 earned run average. He had given up only one earned run in 19 1/3 innings on the road.
THE REDS TOOK CARE of that.
Davis came in with a 0-and-1 record and an 11.17 earned run average. While he bent, he never broke and pitched five scoreless innings, giving up four hit and three walks.
—The Pirates had the bases loaded with one out in the second, but Davis struck out Gift Ngoepe and induced a ground ball from Taillon.
—The Pirates had two on with two outs in the third before Davis coaxed a pop-up from Josh Bell.
—The Pirates had the bases loaded with two outs in the fourth but John Jaso struck out.
“It was the way I was brought up. Never give up,” Davis told Fox Sports Ohio after the game. “I just had to compete and find a way to get through it.”
ZACK COZART SINGLED WITH one out in the first and Joey Votto walked. After Adam Duvall flied out, Suarez lined a home run into the left field seats for a 3-0 lead.
Jose Peraza singled to open the fourth and Devin Mesoraco was hit by a pitch. Davis bunted the runners to third and second, but the sacrifice bunt was not needed.
Hamilton turned on the first pitch and crushed it into the Reds bullpen in right field to make it 6-0. It was Hamilton’s first home run in 319 at bats, dating back to June 29 of last season against Jon Lester of the Chicago Cubs.
THEN CAME ANOTHER NOTEWORTHY home run. Mesoraco, who started only 17 games in 2015 and 2016, homered in the sixth. It was his first home run since September 23, 2014. It was 953 days between home runs and as he said after the game, “A hell of a long time. But I’ll hit a lot more home runs and I was happy to see Davis get off the schneid.”
After Davis left, Cody Reed took over and pitched a shaky two innings, walking four and giving up two hits, including a two-run home run to Andrew McCutchen.
All nine runs in this game, seven by the Reds and two by the Pirates, came via home runs.
Drew Storen and Raisel Iglesias finished it off with Storen pitching a 1-2-3 eighth and Iglesias pitching a 1-2-3 ninth.