CINCINNATI (AP) — Kevin Newman hit an RBI single in the seventh inning and four pitchers combined on a one-hitter that led the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Cincinnati Reds 1-0 Tuesday for a day-night doubleheader sweep.
Bryan Reynolds homered for the second straight game and drove in two runs as Pittsburgh hit three home runs for the second game in a row and won the opener 6-1.
Cincinnati has lost five in a row and was held to one hit for the second time during the skid. The Reds got one run and six hits in the doubleheader.
“We pounded the zone,” Shelton said. “We went right after them and got the ball on the ground. We played well all day long. There were a lot of positives tonight.”
Pittsburgh is (54-88) assured of its fourth straight losing season and the Reds (56-85) of their seventh in nine years but first since 2019. The last-place Pirates have won three in a row for the first time since sweeping Milwaukee from Aug. 2-4.
Rodolfo Castro doubled with one out in the seventh off Raynel Espinal (0-1), who lost in his Reds debut and second big league appearance after an outing with Boston in August 2021. One out later against Ian Gibaut, Newman singled just off the glove of leaping shortstop Matt Reynolds.
“It’s just really awesome to come through in a scenario like that,” Newman said, “In a situation like that — low-scoring, one run wins it — to deliver is an excellent feeling.”
Luis Ortiz, a 26-year-old right-hander making his major league debut, allowed one hit in 5 2/3 innings with theee walks and five strikeouts.
“From the moment I woke up, my mindset was to focus on my plan,” Ortiz said through an interpreter. “I stayed with the plan, and I’m glad the results came through.”
“You have to give their pitcher credit,” Reds manager David Bell said. “He was outstanding — 100-101 with a tight slider and change up. We believe we’re going to score better than that, but it does start with the pretty impressive stuff that he had.”
Chase De Jong (5-2) allowed one walk over 1 1/3 innings, Yohan Ramirez pitched a perfect eighth and Duane Underwood Jr. worked around a walk in the ninth for his first professional save.
The opener drew 9,338, the Reds’ fourth-lowest at home this season. Three of Cincinnati’s six home crowds under 10,000 have been for games against the Pirates
Cincinnati’s Jake Fraley was hit on the head by Manny Bañuelos’ 93.5 mph fastball in the eighth inning of the opener. Down for several minutes, Fraley got to his feet and was led off the field by an athletic trainer. He did not play in the second game.
“It’s part of the game,” Fraley said. “Any time you go to the plate, there is a chance that it could happen. … It could have been a lot worse. It hit me straight between the C-flap and the brim. It was straight off the helmet. Most of the time when it hits you that square, the manager doesn’t give you a choice. Being that late in the game, it is better to check and make sure everything is good.”
Cal Mitchell hit a two-run shot for his first homer since July 22 and Ke’Bryan Hayes added his first home run since Aug. 7,
Johan Oviedo (1-1) pitched hitless ball into the fifth and allowed one hit over five shutout innings for his first win since his Sept. 1 recall from Triple-A Indianapolis. He struck out four and walked two while lowering his earned-run average to 3.34 in the longest of his three Pittsburgh starts.
“He’s made some adjustments,” Shelton said. “He was more clean on the mound. His slider was really good and effective.”
“I got more work in the bullpen,” Oviedo said. “I was trying to get ahead. That’s my best five innings in a while. I was just trying to get through five. Next time, I hope to go deeper.”
Luis Cessa (3-3) gave up five runs and eight hits — including three homers — in his sixth start since being moved from the bullpen. He struck out five and walked one in 5 2/3 innings while slipping to 0-2 as a starter.
Using Kyle Dowdy, promoted as Cincinnati’s 29th player for the doubleheader, and Espinal boosted the Reds’ players-used count to a major league-leading 65 this season. The team already had set a club record for players used in one season. The Pirates reached 64 in the nightcap with Ortiz and Zack Collins.
The Reds and Pirates have played three doubleheaders in one season for the first time since 1965. They split the first two. The sweep was Pittsburgh’s first of a nine-inning doubleheader in Cincinnati since Sept. 17, 2016.
Pirates: Reds reliever Kyle Dowdy hit Tyler Heineman with his first pitch after relieving Cessa in the sixth. Heineman stayed in the game.
Pirates RHP Roansy Contreras (5-4, 3.29) goes up against Reds rookie LHP Nick Lodolo (4-5, 3.78) in Wednesday’s series finale. Contreras allowed one run and four hits in six innings during win against Cincinnati on July 7. Lodolo has never faced the Pirates.
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