Mike Moustakas homers twice as Reds crush the Pirates 8-2

Mike Moustakas was doing his best Jason Voorhees impersonation on Friday the 13th as he was just killing the Pittsburgh Pirates pitchers on the night, hitting two home runs as the Cincinnati Reds routed their division rivals 8-2 on Friday night to guarantee at least a split of their 4-game series. The win was Cincinnati’s 6th in the last eight games.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (9-24) 8 10 0
Pittsburgh Pirates (13-19) 2 7 0
W: Mahlé (2-4) L: Keller (0-5)
Statistics | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati’s offense was quiet in the first two innings, going in order in both frames. But Tyler Naquin and Kyle Farmer had back-to-back doubles to lead off the 3rd inning to get the Reds on the board and tie the game up. A sacrifice fly from TJ Friedl later on in the inning put Cincinnati ahead 2-1.

After the Pirates got a run back in the bottom of the inning it was Mike Moustakas that untied it with a 1-out solo homer off of Mitch Keller. The Reds played add on in the 5th inning, starting off with another leadoff double for Tyler Naquin. Brandon Drury would plate Naquin and TJ Friedl with a double of his own later in the inning as Cincinnati went up 5-2.

Old friend Heath Hembree took over for the Pirates in the 7th inning and his old team didn’t welcome him back. TJ Friedl walked and scored on a Brandon Drury 2-run homer – his 7th of the season. Then Mike Moustakas crushed his second blast of the day, a 427-foot shot to center that made it 8-2. That’s where the score remained as Cincinnati’s bullpen shut Pittsburgh down.

The Pitching

Tyler Mahle gave up a leadoff home run to begin the bottom of the 1st. Or did he? A fan caught the ball in the first row, and the umpires reviewed the play to see if he had reached over the fence. He didn’t, the call stood and the Pirates were out to a 1-0 lead. Mahle would retire the next eight batters in a row, but Gamel got to him again with a 2-out single in the 3rd inning and he would score when Ke’Bryan Hayes lined a double into the left field corner, tying the game up at 2-2. That would be the last time the Pirates would score as Mahle went 6.0 innings and struck out eight with just one walk and those two earned runs.

Alexis Diaz continued his rookie dominance, pitching a perfect 7th inning as he lowered his ERA to 0.55 on the year. Joel Kuhnel came out and took over the game in the 8th inning and he tossed a shutout inning to hold the Reds lead at 8-2 and send the game to the 9th. Jared Solomon entered the game in the 9th and needed just three outs to seal the win for Cincinnati. The rookie reliever had to work around a single from former Red Josh VanMeter, but he kept the Pirates off of the board and the Reds picked up an 8-2 victory.

Key Moment of the Game

Brandon Drury’s 2-run double in the 5th inning that made it a 5-2 ballgame.

Notes Worth Noting

Mike Moustakas last homered twice in the same game on September 25th, 2020 in Minnesota. Since returning from the injured list on April 28th, he’s hit .347/.439/.632 with five doubles and three home runs.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Saturday May 14th, 6:35pm ET

Luis Castillo (0-0, 5.79 ERA) vs Zach Thompson (1-3, 7.08 ERA)

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