After nearly a two-hour rain delay at PNC Park, the Pittsburgh Pirates dipped back below .500 on Tuesday night with an 8-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. After 4-1 win on Monday, the Bucs were looking to clinch the series against the NL Central leading Reds but starter Charlie Morton lasted just four innings. Cincinnati third baseman Todd Frazier did the early damage off Morton, doubling home Jay Bruce in the second to make it 2-0. Frazier then ripped a triple to deep centerfield that scored Bruce again. But an errant Josh Harrison throw allowed Frazier to score from third on the play, extending the lead to 4-0 and closing the books on Morton.
Leading 5-1, the Reds would pour it on in the top of the seventh against Jared Hughes. Cincinnati scored three runs to move the lead to seven but it could have been much worse. Facing the heart of the order, Hughes gave up hits to the first five batters he faced. After giving up three runs, he reached the end of the order and pitcher Homer Bailey grounded into a double play to mercifully end the inning.
The Bucs only run off Bailey came in the bottom of the fifth. Casey McGehee singled home Matt Hague to make it 4-1 at the time. But with Rod Barajas and McGehee on base, Jose Tabata grounded into a double play to quickly end the rally.
Pittsburgh will once again try to pull back to .500 in the series finale. A.J. Burnett will face Johnny Cueto on Wednesday night at PNC Park