Reds win fifth straight, routing Pirates for second straight day

Cincinnati off to its best start since 2016

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

The Cincinnati Reds are the best team in baseball, or the Pittsburgh Pirates are the worst.

Both statements might be true. They certainly looked true Tuesday when the Reds beat the Pirates 14-0 and Wednesday when they completed a three-game sweep at Great American Ball Park with an 11-4 victory. The Reds

The Reds, who are off to a 5-1 start for the first time since 2016, won their fifth straight game since an 11- 6 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Opening Day. They continue to score runs at a historic pace. They had 46 runs in their first five games — more than any Reds team in history in the first five games — and stayed hot with five runs in the first inning Wednesday.

Tyler Naquin hit the first pitch the Reds saw into the seats in left field. It was his fourth home run of the season, and it was the second straight game he led off with a home run. He’s tied with teammate Nick Castellanos and Colorado Rockies third baseman Ryan McMahon for most home runs in baseball.

The Reds became the fourth team in baseball history to have two players hit four home runs in the first six games.

A two-run double by Kyle Farmer later in the first ended capped the early rally. The Reds added to the lead throughout the game.

Castellanos hit his fourth home run in the fifth. Tyler Stephenson and Aristides Aquino hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth.

Jonathan India drove in three runs. He drove in 10 runs in his first six games. That tied him for the fifth highest total through six career games in baseball history.

On the mound, Luis Castillo bounced back from the worst start of his career. After allowing eight earned runs in 3 1/3 innings on Opening Day, he allowed four hits in seven shutout innings and struck out five.

The Pirates didn’t score until the ninth inning when Amir Garrett gave up a grand slam to Erik Gonzalez.

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