Castro homers as Pirates beat Reds 10-4 for 4-game sweep
CINCINNATI (AP) — Rodolfo Castro hit a three-run homer and an RBI single, and the Pittsburgh Pirates completed a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds with a 10-4 victory on Wednesday.
Rookie Oneil Cruz connected for a two-run drive, helping last-place Pittsburgh to its first four-game win streak since mid-July. Ke’Bryan Hayes had three of the Pirates’ 12 hits.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Castro said through an interpreter. “It’s what we’ve worked for. We’ve been working diligently, and we’re communicating. It’s good to see results.”
It was Pittsburgh’s first four-game series sweep in Cincinnati since July 11-14, 1991.
“We played really good defense and pitched well,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “I’m proud to say we ran the bases well, like in the late innings today. We pounded the zone. We played a full 36 innings. We played well. Sweeping a doubleheader is hard. Sweeping a series is hard.”
Kyle Farmer and Austin Romine homered for the lowly Reds, who have dropped six in a row. Nick Lodolo (4-6) struck out 11 while working 6 1/3 innings of three-run ball.
Pittsburgh broke it open with four runs in the ninth against Luke Farrell. Michael Chavis had the big blow, a two-run single that made it 9-3.
Tyler Beede (2-5) got six outs for the win in relief of Roansy Contreras. Miguel Yajure pitched three innings for his first career save.
Cincinnati jumped in front on Spencer Steer’s RBI single in the second, but Pittsburgh went ahead to stay on Castro’s ninth homer in the third. Castro also hit a three-run shot during the Pirates’ 6-3 win in the series opener Monday night.
“I’m starting to believe in my work ethic,” Castro said. “I have the mindset of staying positive through the highs and lows.”
Hayes made it 4-2 when he singled home Greg Allen in the seventh, and Cruz went deep against Joel Kuhnel in the eighth.
Lodolo allowed six hits in his first loss this month. The rookie left-hander was 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his previous two starts.
He became the first Cincinnati pitcher with back-to-back games with at least 11 strikeouts and no walks.
“It is hard to forget that one pitch, but outside of that, I felt pretty good,” Lodolo said of Castro’s shot. “It wasn’t the best command on my fastball today. I know I had two strikes. I got him on it before. I tried to get it on his back foot but hung it.”
Contreras yielded one run and three hits in four innings in his shortest start since he recorded five outs in a 19-2 loss to Milwaukee on July 1. He threw 55 pitches.
“We knew he was only four and 60 today,” Shelton said. “We’re going to monitor him. We want to keep him in the rotation and finish the season.”
The Reds got minor league infielder and Cincinnati-area native Nick Northcut from Boston to complete the Aug. 1 trade that sent outfielder Tommy Pham to the Red Sox.
Pirates: 2B Kevin Newman tumbled over the tarp and into the seats down the first base line in the ninth. He left the game with a cut finger after being checked out by a trainer. He was expected to get an X-ray.
Reds: OF Jake Fraley, hit in the head by a pitch in the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader, was undergoing further testing. He could play this weekend if he passes, manager David Bell said. ... RHP Hunter Greene (right shoulder), sidelined since Aug. 5, is scheduled to start one of the games in Saturday’s doubleheader at St. Louis.
Pirates: RHP JT Brubaker (3-11, 4.36 ERA) is scheduled to make his team-leading 27th start of the season Thursday at the New York Mets.
Reds: RHP Chase Anderson (0-3, 9.00 ERA) is 2-4 with a 3.82 ERA in 13 career starts against the Cardinals going into Thursday’s first game of a five-game series at St. Louis.
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