Cincinnati Reds Crush Pittsburgh Pirates in Series Opener, 15-5


4. 15. 61. . 5

W: David Holmberg (1-0)

L: A.J. Burnett (8-5)

The Cincinnati Reds bashed 19 hits and Brandon Phillips crushed a pair of home runs en route to a 15-5 thrashing of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday evening.

Marlon Byrd wasted no time getting the Reds on the board, sending a 438-foot, three-run home run to dead center field in the bottom of the first inning.

The Pirates made it 3-1 after a solo shot by Pedro Alvarez the following inning, but it would never get closer than that.

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Jay Bruce pushed across another Reds run in the third with a sacrifice fly and Phillips notched his first RBI of the night in the fourth to make it 5-1.

After that, the rout was on. The Reds struck for six more runs in the fifth inning, sending 10 hitters to the plate. The big blows came when Phillips hit his first home run of the night—a three-run shot to left—and Bruce lined a two-run double over the head of center fielder Andrew McCutchen.

Phillips’ next home run came the very next inning off of the very same pitcher (reliever Deolis Guerra) and once again brought home three runs. He was removed in the seventh as part of a double switch, finishing 4-for-5 with two homers, seven RBIs, and two stolen bases on the night. Not too shabby.

For good measure, the Reds would tack on their 15th run of the game in the eighth when Jason Bourgeois drew a bases-loaded walk.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the superb night from Joey Votto, who reached base five times. The first baseman singled twice, doubled, walked twice, and scored three runs. Votto is on an otherworldly run at the plate right now, folks.

The offensive outburst made life much easier for starting pitcher David Holmberg, who was making his first big league start of 2015. Much like he was last September in Cincinnati, the southpaw was quite impressive, allowing just two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out four over six innings. Holmberg also picked up his first career hit during the Reds’ big fifth inning.

If all of that wasn’t enough for you, the game also featured the major league debut of Keyvius Sampson. The right-hander was given the ball for the eighth inning, looking calm, cool, and collected while tossing a perfect frame and striking out two.

Ryan Mattheus and Pedro Villarreal also saw action out of the bullpen. Mattheus allowed three runs on four hits in the seventh inning. Villarreal allowed a pair of hits in the ninth inning, but escaped unscathed.

Other Notes:

  • Five Reds hitters had multi-hit efforts: Phillips (4), Ivan De Jesus Jr. (3), Votto (3), Byrd (3), and Billy Hamilton (2).
  • Phillips wasn’t the only Red to have two stolen bases, as Hamilton also swiped a pair of bases to give him 49 steals on the year.
  • The only hitter in the Reds’ starting lineup who didn’t get a hit was Tucker Barnhart, though he did reach base after being hit by a pitch.

Up Next: The Reds and Pirates meet for game two of the four game set on Friday evening. Michael Lorenzen will look to bounce back from a rough outing on Sunday as he faces off against Jeff Locke. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. EST.

Next: Reds call up David Holmberg, Keyvius Sampson