The Reds failed to pull off the four-game sweep of the Pirates today with a score of 5-3 in Great American Ball Park.
Dave Williams got the start against his former team and exceeded my expectations. He allowed only three runs (two earned) on five hits through six innings. Matt Belisle was the weak link in the bullpen tonight, allowing two earned runs on two hits through the seventh. Kent Mercker and Todd Coffey each pitched an inning of hitless relief.
The Pirates scored their first two runs in the fifth on a Jack Wilson home run to left field after Victor Santos reached base on a throwing error by young Edwin Encarnación. They scored their third run in the sixth when Jose Castillo sent a sacrifice fly to center to score Jeromy Burnitz. Score: 3-0.
The Reds offense realized they were supposed to be involved too in the bottom of the sixth. Brandon Phillips pinch-hit for Williams and doubled to center. Tony Womack then doubled to right field to score our most recent middle infielder. Felipe Lopez then hit a ground ball to the short stop, and for some reason they sent Womack home. He was out, though Lopez advanced to second on the throw.
After a pitching change, Lopez stole third and Ken Griffey Jr doubled to center field to bring him 'round. Adam Dunn struck out and Encarnación grounded out to strand Griffey on second. Score: 3-2.
Alas, the Pirates were back at it in the top of the seventh, having their way with Belisle. Freddy Sanchez singled and Chris Duffy doubled to bring in a run. Jack Wilson put down the sacrifice bunt to move Duffy to third, and Jason Bay put up the sacrifice fly to move him to home. Craig Wilson struck out. Score: 5-2.
Ryan Freel made his appearance in the bottom of the eighth when he walked for Womack. Griffey doubled him him two batters later to score the final run for the Reds. Score: 5-3.
The loss brings the Reds' record to 4-2. They have Monday off before beginning a three-game series in Chicago against the Cubs. Tuesday Bronson Arroyo takes on Glendon Rusch.