Aaron Harang’s bat was the key to the game. Strange but true. Harang’s two out RBI single in the fourth kept the inning going and helped the Reds blow the game open with a five run outburst.
The Pirates went out on top first as Ronny Cedeno smoked a two run homer in the second. Cincy followed with a run of their own in the home half of the second. Jonny Gomes smash to Delwyn Young at third was fielded cleanly. His throw was off line, allowing Gomes to go to second. On his throw to second, first baseman Steve Pearce rolled his ankle and could end up on the DL. With two outs, Drew Stubbs doubled to score Gomes.
In the fateful fourth, Pirates starter Brian Burres loaded the bases with two walks and a single. After a Ryan Hanigan 6-4-3 DP scored one run, it appeared the Pirates might escape the inning with the game tied. Runner on third. Two outs. Pitcher – weak hitting even by the standards of a pitcher – due up. But Harang singled in a run and then scored on a double from Orlando Cabrera. Cedeno’s relay home to nail Harang was high and Cabrera moved to third on the throw. Jeff Karstens was called in from the bullpen to replace Burres. A grounder from Brandon Phillips got by Aki Iwamura. Originally ruled an error, it was later changed to a hit and it scored Cabrera. Joey Votto doubled to knock in Phillips.
After a homer by Stubbs the following inning off of Karstens, the Reds led 7-2. The Pirates narrowed it with three in the seventh. Young’s second double of the game scored two runs. Harang was pulled in favor of Enerio Del Rosario making his ML debut. He was recalled after Pirate Killer Homer Bailey was put on the DL. He struck out Andrew McCutchen, who reached on a passed ball, and gave way to Danny Ray Herrera. Garrett Jones hit a sac fly that scored Young. But Herrera retired Ryan Church to end the threat.
Young hit another one out double in the 9th but was stranded when Francisco Cordero retired McCutchen and Jones to end the game.
Burres took the loss. He went 3-2/3 and gave up five of the Reds seven runs. Four were earned. He allowed five hits and walked four. Cordero got the save in relief of Harang who gave up five runs (four earnies) in 6-1/3.
The near comeback.
Young had three doubles to go with his costly error. Cedeno and Ryan Doumit also had two hits.
D.J. Carrasco struck out the side in the 7th.
The Pirate defense contributed five double plays.
Burres couldn’t find the plate, throwing just 41 of his 79 pitches for strikes.
This was just the fifth career run that Harang has scored. Other than his lone career home run (7/24/09), Harang had never had a game in which he drove in a run and also scored a run. Of all the players in baseball history who have accumulated 300 or more at bats (Harang has over 400), Harang has scored the fewest runs of anyone with five. Next in line is Frank Castillo who scored seven times in 338 at bats.
Harang is 13-5 in his career against Pittsburgh. That’s more wins that what he has against any other team.
This was Young’s first career three double game and his first three hit game of 2010.
Aki Iwamura extended his hitting streak to two games.
Stubbs missed the cycled by a triple in notching his first three hit game of 2010.