New Castle News

Pirates

September 23, 2013

Pirates Baseball: Hamilton, Reds top Bucs, tie for wild card lead

NEW CASTLE — Billy Hamilton remains perfect on the basepaths. The Cincinnati Reds remain perfect with their speedy rookie outfielder in the starting lineup.

The combination could prove potent during the final week of the regular season, and maybe beyond.

Hamilton got three hits and stole two more bases and the Reds routed Pittsburgh 11-3 yesterday to tie the Pirates for the NL wild-card lead. Batting right behind Hamilton, Chris Heisey had three hits and two RBIs as the Reds won two of three to pull even with the scuffling Pirates.

“Those guys set up some big innings,” Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said. “You need guys in your lineup to drive in runs but it’s just as important to have guys to get on base so they can be driven in.”

The Reds and Pirates each have magic numbers of two to close out Washington and clinch a playoff spot. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh trail NL Central leader St. Louis by 2 1/2 games, pending the Cardinals’ night game at Milwaukee.

Jay Bruce hit a three-run double and Todd Frazier followed with a homer that capped a five-run burst in the first inning. Bronson Arroyo (14-11) made it stand up, lasting five innings to win for the first time in nearly a month. The Reds won for the fifth time in six games to head home for a season-ending six-game homestand with some serious momentum.

“We knew it was an important series, they knew it was an important and our guys responded and jumped them early in this one,” Baker said. “It was a good win for us, an important win.”

Neil Walker hit his 13th homer of the season, but Pittsburgh stumbled in its home finale. The Pirates have lost five of seven and will have to clinch its first postseason berth in 21 years on the road. Pittsburgh begins a six-game road trip today in Chicago against the Cubs.

“Today we dug ourselves a little bit of a hole early and they never let up, kept their foot on the gas pedal,” Walker said. “We have to continue to play good baseball and things will go our way.”

They’re certainly going Hamilton’s way at the moment. His presence has given the Reds a needed late-season jolt. He was at it again yesterday, easily taking second base in the second inning and doing it again in the sixth. Hamilton is 12 for 12 on swipe tries since his late-season promotion from Triple-A and is 6 for 14 and has scored nine times as a major leaguer.

Bruce had four RBIs and Chris Heisey added three hits while driving in two runs.

Jeff Locke (10-7) was tagged in the first inning and didn’t come out for the second.

After morphing from fifth starter to improbable All-Star, Locke fell to 2-5 with a 6.12 ERA in the second half of the season. Locke’s next turn in the rotation is scheduled for Saturday in Cincinnati, but an off-day on Thursday gives the Pirates some flexibility with their rotation for a series that could have serious playoff implications.

After Bruce doubled to the gap in left-center field, Frazier followed with his 18th homer, a two-run shot to the deepest part of PNC Park.

“Everything happened pretty fast,” Locke said. “A hit a few walks, a big hit by Bruce, and the homer by Frazier and before you know it Arroyo was my last hitter. I think you try to avoid the big inning and unfortunately the big inning was the first inning.”

Cincinnati pushed its advantage to 7-0 in the second on an RBI double by Heisey and a sacrifice fly from Brandon Phillips off reliever Jeanmar Gomez.

Staked to such a huge cushion, Arroyo worked quickly if not exactly effectively. Walker hit his third homer in four games leading off the third and pinch-hitter Travis Snider did the same in the fifth.

Pittsburgh’s best chance to make it close came later in that inning when Walker’s double put runners in scoring position with no outs. Arroyo surrendered only a sacrifice fly by Justin Morneau that made it 7-3. The veteran right-hander gave up three runs on five hits in five innings, walking two and striking out three.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Pirates
  • Bucs4.tiff Photos, Video, Story: Pittsburgh Pirates visit local students

    The Pittsburgh Pirates adopted the entire fourth-grade class at George Washington Intermediate Elementary School yesterday. It was a perfect match because it was obvious that the 220 students in the auditorium had clearly embraced the black and gold as their baseball team long ago.

    December 12, 2013 5 Photos

  • 465288a3ea2dba25420f4a5047000e5e.JPG Hurdle named NL manager of the year

    Clint Hurdle has won the NL Manager of the Year award after guiding the Pittsburgh Pirates to the playoffs in their first winning season since 1992.

    November 12, 2013 1 Photo

  • d04cfec72983c5223f0f6a7067008170.jpg NLDS: Wainwright, Cards end Pirates’ storybook season

    Nobody’s better than the St. Louis Cardinals when they can’t afford to lose. Adam Wainwright went all the way on the mound and St. Louis got two-run homers from David Freese and Matt Adams to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 last night, advancing to the NL championship series for the third straight season.

    October 10, 2013 1 Photo

  • Pirates Baseball: Game 5 starters both coming off stingy efforts

    Heading into Game 5 of their NL division series against Pittsburgh, the Cardinals can take comfort in this: They’re 7-1 the last three years when facing postseason elimination.

    October 9, 2013

  • 6b3b9533d0dc8f213f0f6a70670045c9.jpg NLDS: Pirates, Cards return to St. Louis for final matchup

    Andrew McCutchen swung as hard as he could, the Pittsburgh Pirates star aiming for the seats in right-center field and the two-run homer that would put his team in the NL championship series.

    October 8, 2013 1 Photo

  • 6a6fe389cbfc79213f0f6a7067000134.jpg NLDS, Game 3: Pirates edge Cards to take series lead

    Pinch-runner Josh Harrison stood on second base in the bottom of the eighth inning and pointed to Pittsburgh Pirates third base coach Nick Leyva. “I told him to get that arm ready, because I’m coming,” Harrison said.

    October 7, 2013 1 Photo

  • NL Division Series: Burnett bounced, Cards rout Pirates in Game 1

    Clint Hurdle waited patiently for the double-play ball that never materialized. When the Pittsburgh Pirates’ manager finally made his slow walk to the mound to take the ball from A.J. Burnett, it was way too late to salvage Game 1 of the NL division series against St. Louis.

    October 4, 2013

  • Bucs1.tiff Wild-Card Win: Local Pirates’ fans revel in Bucs big victory

    New Castle’s James Dotson is treating the 2013 baseball postseason like something that happens once in a lifetime. For Dotson and many other locals crammed into the Crane Room in Neshannock Township last night, watching the Pittsburgh Pirates beat Cincinnati 6-2 in the National League Wild Card game was a once in their lifetime event.

    October 2, 2013 2 Photos

  • c4d132d83e2953203e0f6a7067007625.jpg Wanna watch the Bucs' wildcard playoff with us?

    Sports writer Corey J. Corbin is looking to hang with a few diehard fans who can provide analysis of the Pirates’ first playoff appearance in 21 years. To join in the fun, all you need to do is tell us in 100 words or fewer why you are Lawrence County’s biggest Pirates fan.

    September 26, 2013 1 Photo

  • Pirates Baseball: With loss to Cubs, Bucs brace for Reds

    The Pittsburgh Pirates’ chances of winning the NL Central were dealt a huge blow when the Chicago Cubs rallied for a 4-2 victory yesterday behind a three-run homer by Darnell McDonald.

    September 26, 2013

House Ads
Poll

What is your favorite Easter treat?

Jelly beans
Chocolate ... bunnies, crosses, anything that’s chocolate!
Marshmallow peeps
Decorated eggs
Other
     View Results