By HAL McCOY
The Pittsburgh Pirates wore their camouflage uniform tops Thursday night, perhaps hoping the Cincinnati Reds wouldn’t see them.
After all, the Reds won eight of the first nine games played this season between the two bottom feeders of the National League Central.
For sure, the Reds couldn’t see Pirates starter Chad Kuhl — at least they couldn’t see what he was throwing.
KUHL PITCHED SEVEN SHUTOUT innings, giving up only four hits, as the Pirates won, 6-0, ending Cincinnati’s three-game winning streak.
Despite the score, the Reds saw much better from their starter, Sal Romao, than what they saw the last time he started.
When last seen, Romano gave up six walks in only 3 2/3 innings against the Miami Marlins.
THIS TIME ROMANO PITCHED six innings and didn’t walk anybody. Unfortunately, many of those strikes he was throwing early in the game turned into hits. The Pirates collected all four runs and all eight hits in the first three innings.
After Romano gave up a run-scoring single to David Freese to make it 4-0 in the third, he retired 11 of the last 12 he faced.
But it was too late because the Reds were asleep at the plate on this night.
They had one solid opportunity in the fourth when Joey Votto opened with his inevitable walk and Adam Duvall singled.
That put two on with no outs, but Scooter Gennett struck out, Eugenio Suarez flied to left and Jose Peraza struck out.
KUHL CAME INTO THE GAME with a 3-and-7 record and a 4.84 earned run average, but the 24-year-old right hander was a Kuhl customer on this night.
A throwing error by left fielder Adam Duvall helped the Pirates jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first. Starling Marte opened the inning with a single. Adam Frazier then hit safely to left field. Duvall tried to throw Marte out at third, but overthrew everybody and Marte scored while Frazier sprinted all the way to third. Frazier then scored on Andrew McCutchen’s ground ball.
The Pirates scored two more in the third with a four-hit attack that included a run-scoring single McCutchen and a run-scoring single by Freese.
THE PIRATES MADE IT 6-0 in the seventh after relief pitcher Kevin Shackelford loaded the bases on three straight singles.
After Shackelford struck out McCutchen, he was replaced by Wandy Peralta and he gave up a sacrifice fly to Josh Bell and run-scoring single by David Freese, who had three hits and drove in two. McCutchen also drove in two.
Jose Peraza’s seven game hitting streak came to a conclusion and Billy Hamilton was ejected after disputing a call third strike by umpire Todd Tichenor.
The Pirates outhit the Reds, 13-4, and the Reds road trip finished at 3-and-7. They head home to begin a three-game series in Great American Ball Park Friday night to face the St. Louis Cardinals.