Pirates rally, but come up short in 5-4 loss

Final: Reds 5, Pirates 4

WP: Johnny Cueto (6-3, 2.63 ERA)

LP: Brad Lincoln (3-1, 2.40 ERA)

SV: Aroldis Chapman (6, 0.00 ERA)

Brandon Phillips homered in the 2nd and the Reds added four more in the 4th inning thanks in large part to a 3-run double by Ryan Ludwick to put the Pirates in a 5-0 hole.

In the 8th inning, the Pirates finally broke through, but it was too little, too late. Neil Walker picked up a 2-out, RBI single to score Rod Barajas and Andrew McCutchen followed that with a 3-run home run. Unfortunately, they could not push in another run because Aroldis Chapman was just lights out in the 9th inning to shut the door.

Doug Slaten pitched three scoreless innings of relief to help keep the Pirates in the ball game. Amazingly, he has not given up an earned run since his first outing of the year for AAA-Indianapolis way back on April 7th.

Pedro Alvarez had a pinch-hit single in the 8th inning to contribute to the Pirates’ rally. He was 0 for his previous 18 at-bats. My guess is that he will be back in the lineup tomorrow after a few days off.

Neil Walker was 2 for 4 and has recorded more than one hit in four of his last five games. His OPS has gone up .042 in those five games.

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