PITTSBURGH (AP) — Wade Miley surrendered six runs on 10 hits and the Cincinnati Reds lost for the sixth time in eight games, 6-5 to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.
Miley (12-6) gave up three runs in the first and three more in the fifth before being pulled with one out. The six runs (five earned) allowed were Miley’s most since the Rockies scored eight off of him May 14.
“Maybe not as sharp as we have been lately. I think Wade would say the same thing,” Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart said. “They got to us there early. Were able to weather it for a little bit, then they got three more in the fifth. But Wade pitching to contact is what he does well. He pitched to contact tonight, like he always does. Just found some holes.”
The Reds entered the day half a game ahead of the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals for the second wild card in the National League.
“We absolutely know this is going to turn,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said. “I have no doubt. I know our players. I know our team. Not to say it’s easy. We have to turn this around, we know that. I’m completely confident and feel it turning. It’s going to happen.”
Pirates starter Dillon Peters (1-2) went five shutout innings, surrendering five hits with five strikeouts to help Pittsburgh to its fifth win in seven games following a six-game losing streak. He was 0-3 in six major league starts since last winning with the Angels on Sept. 24, 2019.
“I know that I’m ready to take the ball whenever it’s asked,” Peters said. “I’m going to go out there and compete and go after guys. If that’s for three innings or six innings, you’re going to get everything I’ve got.”
Nick Castellanos took Chris Stratton deep on the first pitch he saw for his 29th homer, making it 6-5 with two outs in the ninth. Stratton then struck out Joey Votto looking for his fifth save.
“I don’t think any lead is safe against these guys,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “You look at their lineup all the way down, the way they constructed their September roster. I think you saw David use his whole roster today. … They’re a good offensive club. We’ve seen it time and time again.”
Following a mound visit with runners on first and second in the fifth, Miley allowed Yoshi Tsutsugo to single to left, driving in Kevin Newman, before Reynolds scored on an errant throw to third from left fielder Aristides Aquino that gave the Pirates a 5-0 lead. Jacob Stallings tacked on a sixth run with an RBI single.
Miley was pulled following a groundout from Anthony Alford. He has allowed at least 10 hits in two of his past three starts, giving up 12 to the Cardinals on Sept. 1.
The Reds scored four off reliever Nick Mears in the sixth.
A bases-loaded single from Barnhart drove in two before Max Schrock scored on a fielder’s choice. Right fielder Ben Gamel then couldn’t make a diving catch to deny Kyle Farmer of a two-out RBI single, cutting the deficit to 6-4.
Three singles to right off Miley put the Pirates up 3-0 in the first.
Tsutsugo drove in Ke’Bryan Hayes before Stallings followed with another RBI single, scoring Bryan Reynolds. Cincinnati had a chance to get out of the inning when Alford sent a soft dribbler to third, but Eugenio Suárez fumbled it for an error. Gamel followed with a two-out RBI single.
“We know they’re in the wild card hunt, this and that,” Gamel said. “But winning baseball games is fun. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing.”
Reds: OF Jesse Winker was sent to Triple-A Louisville on a rehab assignment. Winker has not played since Aug. 15 because of an intercostal strain.
Pirates: RHP David Bednar was placed on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Sept. 11 with a right oblique strain. He is 3-1 with a 2.18 ERA in 58 appearances this season.
RHP Vladimir Gutiérrez (9-6, 4.05) will take the mound for the Reds opposite Pirates RHP Mitch Keller (4-11, 6.29) on Wednesday. Gutiérrez, who is 0-2 in three starts since last winning Aug. 22, allowed one run on two hits in five innings his last time out Sept. 8. Keller hasn’t surrendered a run in two of his past four starts (2-2) after losing his previous four.