CINCINNATI (AP) — Anthony DeSclafani pitched effectively into the eighth inning and the Cincinnati Reds took advantage of porous Pittsburgh defense to knock off the wild card-leading Pirates 3-1 in the opener of a three-game series on Monday.
DeSclafani (8-10) didn’t allow a Pittsburgh baserunner past second base until the eighth. He didn’t walk a batter in 7 1-3 innings, allowing seven hits with six strikeouts.
The Pirates broke up the shutout in the eighth on Jaff Decker’s leadoff pinch-hit double and Neil Walker’s one-out single to right. Reliever Jumbo Diaz walked Andrew McCutchen before getting Jung Ho Kang to hit into an inning-ending 3-6-1 double play.
Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth for his 29th save and second in two days as the Reds won back-to-back games for the first time since Aug. 12-13. Chapman hit Sean Rodriguez with a pitch but picked him off first base, a call that was confirmed after a replay review.
Jeff Locke (7-10) lasted two batters into the sixth, allowing four hits and three runs — one earned — with two walks and six strikeouts.
The Pirates tied their season high with four errors, including two by Rodriguez in the first two innings as he made his first start of the season at shortstop.
Rodriguez’s second error opened the door for the Reds to score two unearned runs in their three-run second. Leadoff batter Brandon Phillips reached on a Rodriguez error and scored from second one batter later on Eugenio Suarez’s single.
Adam Duvall walked to load the bases, setting up a Tucker Barnhart sacrifice fly. Suarez also was awarded home when right fielder Gregory Polanco’s throw missed catcher Chris Stewart and Locke, bouncing out of play for a throwing error that gave Cincinnati a 3-0 lead.
Pirates: 1B/OF Travis Ishikawa rejoined the team after a two-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis. Ishikawa was sidelined on Aug. 23 with a low back strain.
Reds: C Devin Mesoraco expects to begin running in two weeks as he continues his comeback from surgery in May to repair a hip impingement. “I’m right on track with where they want me to be,” Mesoraco said. He expects to be ready for spring training.
Pirates: LHP Francisco Liriano (9-7, 3.40) seeks his first career win in his 11th start against Cincinnati. He is 0-5 against the Reds, including a no-decision on opening day against Johnny Cueto.
Reds: Rookie RHP Raisel Iglesias (3-6, 3.81) makes his fourth 2015 start against Pittsburgh. He is 0-1, but the Reds are 2-1 in his previous three appearances.