Sep 27, 2013, 10:45 PM EDT
Pirates starter and potential upcoming retiree A.J. Burnett shut the Reds down over eight solid innings of work, allowing just one run on five hits and a walk while striking out six. The lone run came on a Todd Frazier solo home run in the fourth.
Homer Bailey wasn’t sharp, allowing four runs on four hits and four walks while striking out three in five innings. The Pirates scored twice in the third on Marlon Byrd‘s two-run single to left and twice in the sixth on Pedro Alvarez‘s two-run homer. The Cincinnati bullpen did their part to keep the game close, but Burnett was just too good, lowering his ERA on the season to 3.30.
Jason Grilli entered the game in the ninth and worked around two lead-off singles to record his 33rd save of the season.
The win moves the Pirates to 92-68, two games ahead of the Reds, meaning that a win either tomorrow or Sunday will give the Pirates home-field advantage in the NL Wild Card playoff game. As Travis Sawchik explained in a column posted last night, home-field advantage could prove to be an important asset to the Pirates specifically. Francisco Liriano projects to be the starter and he carries a 1.47 home ERA compared to a 4.32 road ERA.
- Sandy Alderson is not going to “roll over” for Scott Boras and shut down Matt Harvey 32
- Dodgers are already fed up with 6.56 ERA-pitching, excuse-making Mat Latos 42
- And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights 57
- Bryce Harper walks in all four of his plate appearances, scores four runs 23
- ESPN pulls Curt Schilling off broadcasts for rest of regular season and Wild Card game 140
- David Ortiz is more likely to be boned in Hall of Fame voting for being a DH than for PED stuff 139
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights 74
- The Marlins are going to change everything except their biggest problem this offseason 53
- Sarah Palin sticks up for Curt Schilling, tells ESPN to “stick to sports” (266)
- ESPN pulls Curt Schilling off broadcasts for rest of regular season and Wild Card game (140)
- David Ortiz is more likely to be boned in Hall of Fame voting for being a DH than for PED stuff (138)
- Matt Williams puts up another strong performance in his quest to get himself fired (107)
- David Ortiz tweets his happiness about the Deflategate decision (100)