McCoy: Reds drop fifth straight game to last-place Pirates

The Battle for the Bottom began Monday night in the near silence of PNC Park.

When the three-game series began, the fourth-place Reds were four games ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Central.

And Pittsburgh’s unfathomable domination of the Reds continued, an 8-3 Pirates victory, their fifth straight over the Reds after sweeping a four-game series in Great American Ball Park two weeks ago.

While the Reds had lost 13 of its last 17, the Pirates had lost 9 of 10 since sweeping the four-game series.

Right now, the Reds are Team Slump, offensively and defensively.

They posted only five hits to 13 for the Pirates and are hitting .192 while losing 14 of 18. And the Reds lineup was filled with players battling slumps.

And they made two errors that led to Pittsburgh’s first two runs and could have been charged with a couple more.

Aristides Aquino was 1 for 28, Jose Barrero was 2 for 24, Chuckie Robinson was 2 for 33 and Jonathan India was 7 for 31.

The Pirates broke a 2-2 tie with four runs in the seventh inning to put this one away.

The Reds jumped to a 2-0 lead with a run in the first and a run in third against Pirates starter Roansy Contrares.

Jonathan India doubled with one out in the first, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Kyle Farmer’s sacrifice fly.

A two-out homer to the top seat in the right field stands by T.J. Friedl in the third gave the Reds the 2-0 lead.

Chase Anderson started for the Reds and held Pittsburgh scoreless threw three innings before a 40-minute rain delay halted play.

He returned after the delay and gave up a two-out single to Ke’Bryan Hayes in the fourth.

When he gave up a leadoff single to Kevin Newman in the fifth manager David Bell replaced him with Reiver Sanmartin.

Two errors and three walks later the Pirates tied it, 2-2. Zack Collins walked on a full count. With one out, O’Neil Cruz singled and left fielder Friedl threw wildly for an error as Newman scored.

Fernando Cruz replaced Sanmartin and induced what should have been an inning-ending double play. But shortstop Barrero’s relay throw to first was in the dirt, an error that permitted Collins to score.

Cruz walked the next two, loading the bases, then stopped a line drive by Hayes, picked it up and threw out Cruz to leave it at 2-2.

A leadoff infield single by Spencer Steer and a two-out single by Aquino put two runners on base for the Reds in the seventh, but Barrero struck out.

The Pirates put their leadoff man in base to open the seventh against Derek Law, Cincinnati’s fifth pitcher of the night. And it led to two runs.

Miguel Andujar singled and Jack Suwinski, batting .194, drove a two-run double to right center for a 4-2 Pittsburgh lead.

Law then hit Hayes with a pitch and walked Cal Mitchell, filling the bases. Joel Kuhnel became the sixth Reds pitcher, and he gave up a run-scoring single to Newman and a sacrifice fly to Zack Collins, for a 6-2 lead that stood the rest of the way.

Kuhnel gave up an infield single to Cruz, his fourth that could have called an error on second baseman India, Bryan Reynolds blooped a single to center and Cruz scored on Andujar’s sacrifice fly for a 7-2 lead.

And it quickly became an 8-2 rout when Hayes singled to right to score Reynolds.

Aquino blasted a harmless and meaningless two-out home run in the ninth off former Cincinnati No. 1 draft pick Robert Stephenson for the final 8-3 score.

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