By HAL McCOY
As Lou Brown, the mythical manager of the Cleveland Indians said in the movie ‘Major League,’ “You won a game yesterday. You won a game today. If you win tomorrow, that’s called a winning streak. It has happened before.”
Well, if the Cincinnati Reds can beat the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday night, they’ll have a winning streak.
They made it two in a row Tuesday night against their cousins from Pittsburgh. A 9-1 victory gave them seven wins in eight games this season against the Pirates.
THE LAST TIME THE REDS won three in a row was when they swept four games from the St. Louis Cardinals June 5-8, which they followed up with a nine-game losing streak.
On Tuesday, the Reds beat up on Pittsburgh starter Jameson Taillon, who in his start five days previous gave up 10 runs and nine hits in three innings to the San Francisco Giants, last place occupants of the National League West.
The Reds, of course, inhabit last place in the National League Central and the Pirates are next-to-last, but still eight games ahead of the Reds even after Cincinnati’s Tuesday victory.
ON THIS NIGHT TAILLON gave up eight runs and 11 hits in only 3 2/3 innings, something Reds manager Bryan Price has seen too much of this year from his young pitchers.
The beneficiary of the Reds offensive explosion was veteran Homer Bailey, who struggled early and then, with a big lead, cruised. He gave up one run and four hits over six innings (91 pitches), walked two and struck out three.
Billy Hamilton opened the game with a triple and scored on Joey Votto’s fielder’s choice ground ball. The Pirates drew even in the bottom of the first when Bailey hit leadoff batter Starling Marte with a pitch and he scored on Josh Bell’s single.
Lightning struck for the Reds from an unusual location when they scored four runs in the top of the second.
Billy Hamilton did his triple in the first one better in the second, a three-run home run. Amazingly, Hamilton has only three home runs — two off Taillon. The first came back in May.
AND THE SECOND REDS home run came off the bat of Jesse Winker in the fourth, his first major league home run. Winker was recalled from Louisville for the fourth time this year before the game, taking the place on the roster of traded pitcher Tony Cingrani.
Outfielder Phillip Ervin also was recalled from Louisville to take the place of outfielder Scott Schebler, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a sore shoulder.
Winker almost hit a second home run in the fifth, but left fielder Starling Marte reached into the stands above the wall and snagged Winker’s bid.
Winker almost made a superb defensive play in the bottom of the first that saved two runs and ended the inning. With two on a run already home, Winker ran a long way toward right center and snagged John Jason’s extra-bat bid in front of the wall, ending the inning.
Eugenio Suarez closed out the Reds scoring with a leadoff home run in the ninth, his 17th. And the nine runs are the most the Reds have scored since June 6, during that four-game sweep of the Cardinals.