Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

CIN
3
PIT
2
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
CIN 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 3 7 0
PIT 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 9 0

Home Runs: CIN - Chris Heisey 2 (7)
PIT - Jordy Mercer (8) , Josh Harrison (13)

Chris Heisey hit a two-run shot to tie the game then the game-winning home run in the ninth to give the Reds a win over the Pirates.

0:48 | August 31, 2014 | Baseball, Cincinnati Reds, MLB, Pittsburgh Pirates

Game Information
Location: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 37,591

PITTSBURGH (AP) The Cincinnati Reds likely envisioned themselves in the thick of a pennant race as the calendar turned to September. Yet, they're five games under .500 after injuries wreaked havoc on one of baseball's more talented rosters.

Even Johnny Cueto, one of the game's best pitchers, hasn't been immune to the tough times endured by the Reds this season.

On Sunday, Cueto overcame an early jolt to earn his 16th win and Chris Heisey hit two home runs, including a tiebreaking shot in the ninth inning, as the Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2.

Cueto (16-8) gave up a home run to Josh Harrison on his first pitch of the game. Jordy Mercer homered off Cueto in the second for a 2-0 lead.

"I was just ready to hit," Harrison said. "He's a strike-thrower. Sometimes when you face a guy you get familiar and you see some pitches out of his hand really well."

Cueto wound up pitching eight innings and tied Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw for the major league lead in victories. Cueto worked around nine hits, striking out six and walking one.

"I feel happy because I have 16 wins," Cueto said. "But at this point, with everything that happened to us, all I've got to do is just look ahead."

Said manager Bryan Price: "He's pitched in some tough luck this year."

"He's been outstanding and arguably the best in the National League for me, if not the best without question," Price said.

Price credits his ace's results with the mental strength Cueto has displayed during an arduous season.

"I've had guys that have lost the anticipation of being able to win," Price said. "That can't happen. It's unacceptable and he's never given in to that perception, that he doesn't have a great chance to win every time he takes the mound even though we've had a challenging year."

Heisey's solo drive with one out in the ninth off Jared Hughes (6-5) helped the Reds avoid getting swept at PNC Park. Heisey began the day with just five homers in 229 at-bats this year.

"It's been a challenging year for him," Price said. "I don't think he's accomplished what he set out to do this year."

Aroldis Chapman struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 29th save.

Heisey tied the game at 2 in the fifth, connecting after Ryan Ludwick drew a leadoff walk from Francisco Liriano.

Heisey finished 2 for 4 and drove in all three of Cincinnati's runs.

"It feels good to help the team get a W," Heisey said. "We needed one today after losing the first ones. We couldn't have done it without the way Johnny Cueto pitched today. He's the definition of an ace in the big leagues."

Liriano cruised through his first four innings, throwing an efficient 43 pitches before he ran into trouble in the fifth. Cincinnati's first hit off Liriano didn't come until Todd Frazier singled with two outs in the fourth.

Liriano threw a season-high 111 pitches over seven innings. He gave up two runs, five hits, three walks and struck out five.

"Everything was working down," Liriano said. "I was using the inside half of the plate, down-and-in and everything was down. I just made a mistake."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Reds: C Devin Mesoraco and OF Jay Bruce were out of the starting lineup. Bruce came in as a defensive replacement in the ninth.

Pirates: RHP Charlie Morton (hip) threw a bullpen session before the game. He made a rehab start Thursday for Double-A Altoona. ... RHP Stolmy Pimentel (ankle) is nearing a return after throwing two innings for Altoona on Friday. ... 1B-3B Pedro Alvarez (foot sprain) began hitting off a tee. ... OF Travis Snider (hamstring) has not played since Wednesday and is still day-to-day.

UP NEXT

Reds: After an off-day, Cincinnati starts a three-game set at Baltimore on Tuesday night. RHP Mat Latos (5-3, 3.15 ERA) opens for the Reds against RHP Bud Norris (11-8, 4.00).

Pirates: Pittsburgh begins a 10-game road trip Monday with a three-game series in St. Louis. RHP Gerrit Cole (7-4, 3.65) opposes Cardinals RHP Lance Lynn (14-8, 2.79) in a rematch of the matchup that the Pirates won 5-2 on Aug. 26.

SPEEDY

Reds OF Billy Hamilton stole his 54th base of the season in the seventh inning, tying the Reds rookie record for stolen bases in a season. Bob Bescher stole 54 in 1909.

BUSINESS OF BASEBALL

Prior to the game, the Reds traded reliever Jonathan Broxton to the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers. Price said Broxton's presence will be greatly missed.

"He may be the best I've ever had in the bullpen as far as being professional and preparing the right way and showing everybody else how to get it done," Price said.

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Pitcher Matchup
Johnny Cueto
Innings Pitched:8 (Win)
H 9, R 2, 2.26 ERA
Jared Hughes
(Loss) Innings Pitched:1.2
H 2, R 1, 2.06 ERA

Aroldis Chapman
Innings Pitched:1  (Save)
H 0, R 0, 2.44 ERA
 

Pittsburgh batters
Player POS AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Josh Harrison 3B 4 1 2 1 0 0 0 .310
Andrew Lambo RF 4 0 1 0 0 1 1 .333
Andrew McCutchen CF 4 0 2 0 0 1 1 .307
Neil Walker 2B 3 0 0 0 1 0 2 .272
Ike Davis 1B 4 0 1 0 0 1 4 .238
Starling Marte LF 4 0 1 0 0 2 2 .272
Jordy Mercer SS 4 1 2 1 0 1 0 .258
Chris Stewart C 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 .274
Russell Martin C 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .293
Brent Morel 3B 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .136
Francisco Liriano P 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 .088
Jared Hughes P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Justin Wilson P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000

Cincinnati batters
Player POS AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Billy Hamilton CF 5 0 1 0 0 1 2 .267
Kristopher Negron 3B 3 0 0 0 1 2 1 .255
Brandon Phillips 2B 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 .258
Todd Frazier 3B 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 .278
Brayan Pena C 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 .257
Ryan Ludwick LF 3 1 1 0 1 1 0 .247
Jay Bruce RF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .217
Chris Heisey LF 4 2 2 3 0 0 1 .227
Ramon Santiago SS 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 .250
Jack Hannahan 1B 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 .154
Johnny Cueto P 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .133
Mike Leake P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .169
Aroldis Chapman P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -

Pittsburgh pitchers
Player IP H R ER BB SO PC-ST ERA
Francisco Liriano 7 5 2 2 3 5 111-67 3.91
Jared Hughes 1.2 2 1 1 0 1 25-17 2.06
Justin Wilson 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 6-3 4.30

Cincinnati pitchers
Player IP H R ER BB SO PC-ST ERA
Johnny Cueto 8 9 2 2 1 6 113-81 2.26
Aroldis Chapman 1 0 0 0 0 2 14-10 2.44