PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh second baseman Cole Tucker made a spectacular diving catch, then hit his first career grand slam to cap an eight-run rally in the eighth inning that sent the Pirates over the Cincinnati Reds 9-2 on Friday night.
Tucker’s slam off Dauri Moreta came a night after the Pirates lost their 100th game of the season. Tucker also tripled to lead off the bottom of the first inning and scored the game’s first run.
The grand slam might have been just Tucker’s second-best highlight of the night after his fielding gem in the seventh.
Tucker raced into short right field and snagged Tucker Barnhart’s popup with his back to home plate. Tucker quickly rose to his feet and made a strong throw to first base to double up Eugenio Suarez and end the inning to preserve the Pirates’ 1-0 lead.
The Reds tied it at 1 in the top of the eighth inning when Max Schrock hit an RBI single with two outs.
The Pirates scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning when Michael Lorenzen threw a wild pitch with the bases loaded and one out. Kevin Newman followed with a two-run single, Hoy Park delivered an RBI single and Tucker homered into the right-field stands.
Newman and Anthony Alford had three hits apiece for Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh rookie Wil Crowe allowed only one hit, a third-inning single by pitching counterpart Luis Castillo, in six scoreless innings but wound up with a no-decision. The right-hander set down his final 12 batters while finishing with a career high-tying nine strikeouts and two walks.
Castillo gave up one run in 5 1/3 innings. He went 2-5 in his last eight starts of the season despite posting a 2.80 ERA in that span.
Amir Garrett (0-4) began the eighth inning and took the loss as he retired only one of the three batters he faced. Chris Stratton (7-1) added to his team lead in wins despite allowing Schrock’s tying hit.
Cincinnati scored a run with two outs in the ninth inning on Jose Barrero’s triple.
Reds: SS Kyle Farmer was scratched from the lineup because of left abdominal soreness. INF/OF Jose Barrero started at shortstop after originally being slated to play center field while OF TJ Friedl started in center.
RHP Tyler Mahle (13-6, 3.54) will pitch for the Reds on Saturday night against rookie RHP Max Kranick (2-3, 6.23). Mahle is 8-2 with a 1.85 ERA in 17 road starts this season. Kranick pitched five shutout innings to win at Philadelphia on Sunday.
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