Cincinnati Reds Snap 13-Game Losing Streak with 3-1 Win Over Pirates

61. 1. 4. . 3

W: Brandon Finnegan (5-2)

L: A.J. Burnett (9-7)

SV: Aroldis Chapman (33)

For the first time since Sept. 19, the Cincinnati Reds have won a baseball game, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-1, on Saturday night.

Offense: The Reds jumped on A.J. Burnett in the first inning of his final regular season start and never turned back. Eugenio Suarez started things with a one-out single and advanced to third on an errant pickoff throw by Burnett. Joey Votto then brought Suarez in on a ground out to give the Reds an early lead. Brandon Phillips followed with a single to keep things moving and scored on Todd Frazier‘s 43rd double of the year. Burnett kept the Reds off the scoreboard until the seventh when Adam Duvall hit a solo home run to extend the lead to 3-1.

Starting Pitching: The fourth start of Brandon Finnegan‘s career was easily his best one. He got into some trouble in the early going, allowing the Pirates to cut the Reds’ lead in half in the bottom of the first inning. Josh Harrison led the inning off with a triple and scored on a ground out. Finnegan put two more on with a walk and a single, but worked his way out of the jam with the lead intact. From there on out, Finnegan was lights-out, allowing only one more hit and one more walk as he tied a career-high with six innings pitched. He also added six strikeouts, four coming in the first two innings of the contest.

Bullpen: Finnegan’s solid outing was backed up by some nice work from the Reds’ relief corps. Burke Badenhop pitched a perfect seventh inning, striking out two. The reins were turned over to Michael Lorenzen in the eighth. He retired the first two hitters of the inning, but allowed a single to Gregory Polanco with two outs. Bryan Price then decided to turn to Aroldis Chapman to face the Pirates’ best hitter in Andrew McCutchen. The move proved to be a smart one, as Chapman fanned McCutchen and followed with a shutout ninth inning to seal the Reds’ first win in two weeks.

Other Notes:

  • The Reds’ losing skid wasn’t the only streak to come to an end on Saturday. Votto’s 48 game on-base streak also came to an end after he went 0-for-4.
  • Coupled with a loss by the Philadelphia Phillies, the Reds’ win means that they’ll have the second pick in the 2016 draft. The only other time the Reds have picked that high was in 1982, when they selected shortstop Kurt Stillwell with the No. 2 pick.

Up Next: The Reds will wrap up their season on Sunday as they play the rubber match with the Pirates. Josh Smith will be tasked with starting the final game of the year, opposed by J.A. Happ. First pitch is set for 3:05 p.m. ET.

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