By: Ed Cahill
Right-handed pitcher Anthony DeSclafani allowed just one run on seven hits over 7-1/3 innings as the Cincinnati Reds defeated the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1 on Monday.
DeSclafani struck out six while walking none to improve to 8-10 while Pittsburgh right-handed pitcher Jeff Locke, who allowed three runs – one of which was earned – on four hits in five innings fell to 7-10.
Cincinnati (57-79) scored all of its runs in the second inning. Reds’ second baseman Brandon Phillips led off by reaching first base on a fielding error by Pirates shortstop Sean Rodriguez, then advanced to second base when right fielder Jay Bruce followed with a single. After shortstop Eugenio Suarez singled – scoring Phillips to give the Reds a 1-0 lead – left fielder Adam Duvall drew a walk to load the bases.
A sacrifice fly by catcher Tucker Barnhart scored Bruce. Suarez also came home on a throwing error by Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco, extending Cincinnati’s lead to 3-0.
Pittsburgh (81-55) scored its only run when pinch-hitter Jeff Decker led off the eighth against DeSclafani with a double, advanced to third on a grounder by Polanco, and came home on a single by second baseman Neil Walker.
After DeSclafani was relieved by Reds right-handed pitcher Jumbo Diaz, Diaz walked Pittsburgh centerfielder Andrew McCutchen on four pitches, then threw three straight balls to third baseman Jung Ho Kang before getting Kang to hit into an inning ending double play.
Aroldis Chapman pitched a scoreless ninth inning, striking out two, to pick up his 29th save.
Bruce’s second inning single was the 1,000th hit of his career, making him only the sixth player in Cincinnati Reds’ history with 1,000 hits and 200 home runs.
Cincinnati will sent right-hander Raisel Iglesias (3-6, 3.81) against Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano (9-7 overall, 3.40) in the second game of the three-game series at Great American Ball Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m., ET.