MLB: Pirates gain split in oddball day
CINCINNATI — Gerrit Cole wasn’t at all surprised that his winning streak was broken by another pitcher swinging the bat.
Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Cole’s six-game winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays.
First, the NL Central rivals completed a game that was suspended in the sixth inning because of rain the previous night. Andrew McCutchen doubled and came around on Russell Martin’s single in the seventh inning, giving the Pirates an 8-7 win.
Too many mistakes in the next game prevented it from being a good night all-around.
“We’re long on guts, we’re long on grit,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “We’ve got to find a way to continually execute at a championship level.”
Leake (2-1) gave up three runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings for a split.
The right-hander has won his past four starts against the Pirates. Jonathan Broxton pitched out of a two-on threat in the ninth, converting his first save chance.
Leake, who has the most hits by a major league pitcher since 2010, doubled and scored in the third.
He hit his third career homer in the sixth off Cole (2-1), who played at UCLA and watched Leake rack up hits at Arizona State.
“That guy’s a good hitter as a pitcher,” Cole said. “I saw that at Arizona State. He wore us out at the plate. That’s not the first time he’s done stuff like that.”
Cole had trouble getting his pitches to go where he wanted. He gave up nine hits, three walks and five runs in six innings.
“A very frustrating game,” Cole said. “I was getting balls up most of the game, really flirting with it, not being able to put guys away with two strikes. Everything was kind of wishy-washy over the plate.”
Todd Frazier hit his second homer in two games, Joey Votto had four hits and Devin Mesoraco had three hits, including a bases-loaded single.
Neil Walker hit three of Pittsburgh’s seven homers in the two games.
The teams wore their customary uniforms for the completion of the suspended game, then switched to commemorative No. 42 Jackie Robinson jerseys for the later game, which started 5 minutes later than originally scheduled.
It’s been a wild series full of downpours, lead changes and home runs.
The teams put on a record-setting show Monday night before the game was suspended after six innings tied 7-all. They combined for 10 homers in those six innings, the most for a game in Great American Ball Park’s 12 seasons.
When play resumed, McCutchen doubled off Sam LeCure (0-1) and came around on a wild pitch and Martin’s single up the middle, only the second run of the game that didn’t come by way of a homer.
Bryan Morris (2-0) gave up Mesoraco’s tying solo homer in the sixth inning Monday night, but was still the pitcher of record. Jason Grilli pitched the ninth for his fourth save in five chances.
Pittsburgh had three sets of back-to-back homers before the game was suspended, only the third time that’s happened in major league history. The other two times: Cincinnati against the Braves in 1956, and Boston against the Yankees in 1977.
Walker and Gaby Sanchez went back-to-back twice, only the second time that’s happened in Pirates history. Toby Atwell and Jerry Lynch also went back-to-back twice against the Reds on April 27, 1954.
Pittsburgh hit six homers — all solo shots — and the Reds had four, all with two outs.
NOTES: It was 66 degrees for the first pitch on Monday, 39 degrees when the game resumed. ... Leake has 59 career hits and 12 multihit games. ... Mesoraco, the Punxsutawney native, is 11-for-22 with three homers and nine RBIs in six games since returning from the DL. ... Pittsburgh’s six homers in the suspended game were one shy of the club record. The six solo homers were one shy of the major league record. ... The Pirates have 15 homers in their last four games at Great American. They also hit six during an 8-3 win on Sept. 28 that clinched home-field advantage for the NL wild-card playoff, a 6-2 win over Cincinnati at PNC Park.