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|Chad Kuhl was just happy his team got the win. His manager was thrilled that his right-hander got the credit for it. Kuhl pitched six solid innings to win for the first time since May 6 Yanni Gourde Jersey , a span of seven starts, and the Pittsburgh Pirates edged the Cincinnati Reds and Matt Harvey 3-2 on Friday night.
The Pirates’ last back-to-back wins came on May 16-17 against San Diego, which pushed them a season-high nine games over .500 at 26-17. They have gone 8-18 since and lost eight straight series.
”It was good for the team to open up the series with a win and hopefully we can win this series (Saturday),” Kuhl said.
Kuhl (5-4) gave up two runs, one earned, and six hits while striking out six and walking three. He allowed no more than three runs in any of his previous four outings.
”People who say wins are not important for pitchers are people who don’t pitch,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ”There is value to it. Everybody likes a pat on the back. Everybody likes a reward. I don’t think that’s ever going to change in sport. If it does, then it will be time for me to get out.”
The Pirates pulled ahead 3-2 in the sixth on consecutive sacrifice flies by Starling Marte and Colin Moran off reliever Michael Lorenzen. The runs were charged to Harvey (1-5), who was lifted after giving up back-to-back singles to pinch-hitter Elias Diaz and Josh Harrison to start the inning.
Harvey allowed three runs on four hits with two strikeouts and two walks. The former New York Mets ace is 1-3 with a 5.09 ERA in seven starts since being traded to Cincinnati on May 8 after being designated for assignment.
Wandy Peralta relieved Harvey and hit Corey Dickerson, the only batter he faced, with a pitch. That left the bases loaded with none out for Lorenzen.
”I’m just frustrated about the whole outing,” Harvey said. ”It was kind of a struggle the whole time. To have the lead going into the sixth inning and letting two guys get home is unacceptable and something I’m (upset) about.”
Felipe Vazquez held on in the ninth for his 13th save in 17 opportunities. Tucker Barnhart singled with two outs and pinch-runner Billy Hamilton stole second base before Joey Votto struck out swinging.
A sacrifice fly by Scooter Gennett in the third inning drew the Reds into a 1-1 tie and they went ahead in the fourth, scoring a run on a throwing error by Kuhl.
”I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock when I threw the ball away,” Kuhl of the first error of his three-year career. ”I kind of went behind the mound and reset.”
Pittsburgh scored the game’s first run when Gregory Polanco grounded into a double play in the second inning.
The Reds lost despite outhitting the Pirates 7-5. They were 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 baserunners.
Cincinnati’s Jose Peraza had two hits.
KANG OFF RESTRICTED LIST
Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang has been reinstated from the restricted list and optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis after missing last season and the first part of this year because of visa issues.
The 31-year-old Kang was unable to secure a work visa to travel from his native South Korea to the United States after he was arrested for DUI for a third time in December 2016 in Seoul. He received an eight-month suspended prison sentence.
The move is procedural, so Kang can begin drawing the prorated portion of his $3 million salary. He has already played in 11 minor league games. He was cleared to travel to the U.S. on April 27.
PIRATES SIGN TOP PICK
The Pirates signed South Alabama outfielder Travis Swaggerty, the 10th overall pick in last week’s amateur draft, to a contract with a $4.4 million bonus and assigned him to short season Class A West Virginia. He hit .296 with 13 home runs and a .455 on-base percentage in 57 games this year.
Reds: RHP Homer Bailey (right knee inflammation) stopped his rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville. On the disabled list since May 30, Bailey made one start for Louisville and was tagged for five runs in three innings Monday.
Pirates: RHP Richard Rodriguez (right shoulder inflammation) is scheduled to pitch a simulated game Saturday.
Reds: Luis Castillo (4-7, 5.79 ERA) has lost his last three starts with a 7.47 ERA.
Pirates: RHP Ivan Nova (3-5, 4.68) beat the Cubs at Chicago last Sunday in his return from the DL, allowing one run in 5 2/3 innings after being out with a sprained right ring finger. He is 3-7 lifetime against Cincinnati.
Everything was going Clay Buchholz’s way. Then, a swing-and-miss led to an injury that turned what could have been a gem into a routine solid outing. Buchholz lasted five innings before experiencing tightness in his left side, but the Arizona Diamondbacks completed a four-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 3-0 win Sunday.
The right-hander retired the first 11 batters he faced before Pirates centerfielder Starling Marte doubled down the right-field line with two out in the fourth inning. Despite throwing just 53 pitches (42 strikes), he was pulled to start the sixth inning after informing manager Torey Lovullo of some pain stemming from swinging at the first pitch of his at bat in the top of the fifth.
”I’ve had oblique Auston Matthews Jersey , whatever it is, before. It was a lot worse than this one,” Buchholz said. ”I went out (in the bottom of the fifth) and the last two outs, that’s whenever I felt it a little bit more. I was just trying to get through that inning. It’s more precautionary. I’ve gone through things before where I’ve tried to get through it, pitch through it and go another inning, but that’s always led me in the wrong direction.”
Lovullo said Buchholz (2-1), who allowed two hits with five strikeouts in five innings for his first win since June 1, would continue to be evaluated throughout Sunday. More information is expected Monday.
”He was attacking the zone with the fastball and driving his fastball on both sides of the plate, and then throwing some quality secondary stuff,” Lovullo said. ”We want to give him a night to let everything calm down and evaluate him.”
David Peralta’s 15th home run, which carried over the wall in right-center field before bouncing into the Allegheny River, and John Ryan Murphy’s ninth powered Arizona to its 12th win in 16 games.
”It’s nice to get a couple runs in the first, always,” Murphy said. ”I was leading off the second and was looking for a fastball. Got one in a pretty good spot.”
Brad Boxberger let up a single to Austin Meadows with one out in the ninth before forcing Marte into a double play for his 17th save.
Pirates right-handed starter Trevor Williams (6-5) took the loss after allowing the two-run home run to Peralta with two out in the first inning and a lead-off solo homer to Murphy, which made it 3-0 in the second. Those three runs came on five hits in six innings pitched with six strikeouts.
”Unfortunately, that was the game today,” Williams said. ”From there on, I thought I was making all my pitches and being successful the second time through the lineup.”
Pittsburgh has scored eight combined runs during its current five-game losing streak after winning four of its previous five games.
”We’re going to keep playing,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ”The season’s not going to stop. Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us. These guys are working hard in here to get better. We haven’t gotten better.”
Diamondbacks: RHP Braden Shipley was recalled from Triple-A Reno on Sunday morning. RHP Jake Barrett was optioned to Reno following the game Saturday.
Diamondbacks: 1B Paul Goldschmidt was given the day off after homering and scoring three runs Saturday. INF Daniel Descalso took over at first base and hit fifth.
Pirates: RHP Michael Feliz was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation on Sunday and recalled RHP Clay Holmes from Triple-A Indianapolis. Holmes allowed one walk in two innings of relief.
Diamondbacks: RHP Shelby Miller (0-0, 0.00) is expected to come off the 60-day disabled list to make his season debut against the Marlins on Monday. After undergoing Tommy John surgery for a torn UCL sustained last season against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Miller allowed 10 runs on 20 hits with 28 strikeouts and six walks in a combined 19 1/3 innings during his four rehab starts, two with Double-A Jackson and two with Single-A Visalia.
Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (4-6, 4.03) will look to find some consistency when he starts against the New York Mets on Monday. He is 2-6 since winning his first two starts of the season against the Minnesota Twins on April 2 and the Cincinnati Reds on April 8.