A spate of wildness crept into the arms of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Bottom of the 6th inning in Great American Ball Park on Sunday, a wildness that helped coax the moribund Cincinnati Reds back to life.
Dillon Peters, who had not yet allowed a run this year, walked the bases loaded before Tommy Pham walked with them loaded to cut a Pirates lead to just 2-1, and the Pirates then turned to former Red Heath Hembree to clean up the damage. In a battle of former-former, though, it was former Pirate (and Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game) Colin Moran that got the job done, as he blasted a Hembree meatball deep into the sun deck beyond the RF wall for the 5th grand slam of his career.
It was Moran’s first blast as a Red, and it flipped the scoreboard in a way the Reds have failed to do repeatedly during their dismal 5-23 start to the season. To pour a bit more salt in the Pirates wound, Moran would later launch his second homer of the season, too - a 2-run moonball over the CF wall that put the final touches on a 7-3 win.
It was a pretty solid all-around effort, all told. Tyler Mahle was inefficient yet again in his start, but he did hold the Pirates to a lone hit in his 5 IP - it was a 2-run HR, of course, but still just a lone hit. Art Warren was nails in his IP, too, and even though it was merely the Pirates around for the thumping, it was nevertheless an outing that finally, mercifully looked like one expected from a big league baseball club.
That’ll be needed again tomorrow, as the Reds welcome the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers to town. Luis Castillo will make his season debut, which is exciting, but the Reds will be tasked with taking down Brandon Woodruff to turn this into a win streak. First pitch is set for 6:40 PM ET.