McCoy: Reds swept by last-place Pirates

Cincinnati scores four runs in four-game series

What does a team get when it scores eight runs in four games? It gets swept by the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates.

That was the sad scenario for the Cincinnati Reds as the Pirates completed the four-game sweep with a 10-4 victory Wednesday afternoon in Great American Ball Park.

Losing four straight at home to the woebegotten Pirates is just about as ignominious as the Reds’ 3-22 start to the season. And it is Pittsburgh’s first four-game sweep in Cincinnati since 1991, when the Reds played Riverfront Stadium.

Over the four games, the Pirates outscored the Reds, 23-8.

A pitcher can go from hero to hobo with one errant pitch. That’s what happened to Reds starter Nick Lodolo. He gave up a three-run home run in the third inning to Rodolfo Castro.

For the other 5 1/3 innings, he should have five gold stars plastered across his forehead — no runs, three hits, no walks and 11 strikeouts.

But his offensive support was non-existent, and his record fell to 4-6 while the Reds lost for the sixth straight time.

And the bullpen did its usual give-em-up modus operandi as the Pirates scored seven runs in the last three innings.

It all gave Reds manager David Bell no cause to celebrate his 50th birthday.

The Reds grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second against Pirates starter Roansy Contreras. Suddenly hot Aristides Aquino, who is hitting singles and doubles recently to go with his rare home runs, doubled and scored on Spencer Steer’s two-out single.

Lodolo’s only mishap came in the Pittsburgh fourth, the three-run home run by Castro. The home run followed a leadoff single by No. 9 hitter Tyler Heineman and a single by Bryan Reynolds.

The Reds had one run on three hits off Contreras over his four innings, then scored a run in the fifth off relief pitcher Tyler Beede, a home run by catcher Austin Romine.

That cut Pittsburgh’s advantage to one run, but the Pirates scored off Derek Law in the seventh. It began with a one-out walk to Greg Allen. Even with one out, Heineman put down a sacrifice bunt, moving Allen to second.

The bold move worked. Ke’Bryan Hayes singled to left, scoring Allen for a 4-2 Pittsburgh lead.

The Pirates sent Miguel Yajure to the mound for the seventh, a guy with an 8.66 earned run average. In 17 1/3 innings he had given up 18 runs, 24 hits and 12 walks.

Steer flied out on the first pitch, Jose Barrero grounded out on three pitches, Romine blooped a single to right and T.J. Friedl flied out.

Joel Kuhnel pitched the eighth for the Reds and gave up a two-run home run to O’Neil Cruz, Pittsburgh’s tall and multi-talented shortstop. Lodolo struck him out twice, but he punched an opposite-field rip to left center for his 15th homer.

The inning began with another fateful walk, a four-pitch free pass to Michael Chavis.

Kyle Farmer homered off Yajure in the eighth, but has been the norm recently for the Reds, it was a solo shot and merely cut Pittsburgh’s lead to 6-3.

As the Pirates scored four more runs in the top of the ninth off Luke Farrell, Reds radio broadcaster Jeff Brantley said disgustedly, “Some of this stuff you just can’t describe.”

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