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Cincinnati at Pittsburgh

Scoreboard
Cincinnati (10-13)000000001190
Pittsburgh (11-10) «30000000x391

Pirates 3, Reds 1

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

PITTSBURGH -- Five starts, and nothing resembling a bad one for the Pittsburgh Pirates' Ian Snell. His manager thinks it could be the start of a special season for a maturing, confident pitcher who looks to be developing into one of the NL's best young starters.

Snell limited the Cincinnati Reds to six hits over seven shutout innings in another excellent outing, and Jason Bay's two-run double got the Pirates going in the first inning of a 3-1 victory on Friday night.

"This guy's becoming something very special," manager Jim Tracy said of Snell, whose 1.59 ERA is among the lowest in the majors. "This guy has come so far in a short period of time and he should be given a lot of credit. He likes challenges an awful lot."

The Reds, down 3-0 before starter Eric Milton (0-4) retired his second batter, lost their third straight and seventh in nine games.

Despite getting another scare from slumping closer Salomon Torres, the Pirates held on to match their longest winning streak of last season, winning their fifth in a row to move above .500 at 11-10. That might be a modest achievement for some teams, but represents a turnaround for one that was 5-16 and nine games out of first place a year ago.

They're doing it without much offense; their .239 team batting average is lower than that of any NL team but the Reds (.235).

Pittsburgh knew its young pitching staff -- all but one starter is 25 or younger -- was the key to the season, and so far it has been. Those starters have gone 4-0 on the current home stand, allowing two runs in 28 innings -- an 0.64 ERA.

"I know I'm more comfortable and more relaxed," Snell said.

Snell (2-1) who won 14 games in his first full major league season, should finish April with a 1.59 ERA, after not allowing more than two runs in any start and lasting at least seven innings all but once.

Still, the 25-year-old Snell doesn't want to hear any talk about what he might do this season, saying it's too much too early.

"They should expect good things, but I don't want to put too much pressure on myself," he said.

Torres may be doing that after blowing three saves in his last five chances. He was pulled in a non-save situation Thursday after giving up two runs in the ninth of a 5-3 victory over Houston, and the night before that, he gave away a 3-1 lead in the ninth of a game the Pirates didn't win until the 16th, beating the Astros 4-3.

On Friday, Torres got off to another bad start by giving up Adam Dunn's fifth homer on his first pitch of the ninth. Javier Valentin singled a batter later, but Torres held on to get his seventh save in 10 opportunities.

"I got three hard outs, but they were outs. The next time out, it's going to be better," Torres said. "We got the save, and we got the win, and that's all that counts. It was very nice for me to get that out of the way, especially after the last two nights. I'll take saves anywhere I can get them right now."

Milton also was in trouble from the start, giving up Chris Duffy's leadoff single and walking Jack Wilson. A batter later, Bay's double scored both runners. Adam LaRoche later singled in Bay.

Milton is 1-6 in his career against Pittsburgh with two losses this season, and is 16-27 since signing a $25 million, three-year deal with the Reds. However, he's not getting a lot of support, either.

"I feel like there's guys ready to break out, and we'll start putting together some big innings," Scott Hatteberg said. "I wish I could say it's tomorrow. I hope it is."

Snell worked out of two major jams, in the second (bases loaded, two outs) and sixth (runners on first and second, none out). The Reds stranded nine runners.

"It seems like the other clubs have been getting hits when they need them and we don't," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "We just couldn't get anything to fall."

Notes

  • Damaso Marte followed Snell with a scoreless eighth.
  • The Pirates have won eight of their last 10 against the Reds in Pittsburgh.
  • Bay is 10-for-23 with nine RBI against Milton.
  • Pittsburgh's last five-game winning streak in April came in 2002, also the last time they had a winning record (14-10) during the month. The five-game winning streak matches the Pirates' longest of last season, achieved twice -- once in July and again in September.
  • Ken Griffey Jr. remained out of the Reds' lineup for a second day with pleurisy, an inflammation in the lining of a cavity surrounding the lungs, but walked as a pinch-hitter in the seventh.
  • All the Pirates wore No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson. A planned tribute was rained out April 15.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

J. Bay
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
Pittsburgh

I. Snell
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 0
BB 2
K 4
 
Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Freel, CF5000013 .253
Scott Hatteberg, 1B4020000 .310
Brandon Phillips, 2B4010011 .236
Josh Hamilton, RF4010001 .291
Alex Gonzalez, SS4020003 .324
Adam Dunn, LF4111032 .268
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B3000001 .174
Javier Valentin, C3020100 .276
Eric Milton, P2000003 .000
    Kirk Saarloos, P0000000 .000
   a- Ken Griffey Jr., PH0000100 .254
    Kyle Lohse, PR0000000 .125
    Victor Santos, P0000000 .000
   b- Jeff Conine, PH1000001 .263
Totals3419125  
a-walked for Saarloos in the 7th
b-flied out for Santos in the 9th
Batting
2B - Alex Gonzalez (4, Snell)
HR - Adam Dunn (5, Torres)
RBI - Adam Dunn (10)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - B. Phillips-A. Gonzalez-Hatteberg
Cincinnati Reds
Eric Milton (L,0-4) 4.1633220 4.71
Kirk Saarloos 1.2100010 4.76
Victor Santos 2200100 2.38
WP - Eric Milton (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Eric Milton 64-0, Kirk Saarloos 31-0, Victor Santos 32-0
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Eric Milton 3-8, Kirk Saarloos 3-1, Victor Santos 4-1
Batters Faced - Eric Milton 21, Kirk Saarloos 6, Victor Santos 8
Pittsburgh Pirates
Chris Duffy, CF4110002 .288
Jack Wilson, SS3120100 .307
Freddy Sanchez, 2B4000014 .218
Jason Bay, LF4112012 .280
Brad Eldred, RF4020001 .167
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .000
Adam LaRoche, 1B3011101 .123
Jose Bautista, 3B3000103 .289
Ronny Paulino, C4020013 .206
Ian Snell, P2000001 .200
    Damaso Marte, P0000000 .000
    Nate McLouth, RF0000000 .286
Totals3139333  
Batting
2B - Jack Wilson (7, Milton), Jason Bay (5, Milton)
SH - Ian Snell (2)
RBI - Jason Bay 2 (16), Adam LaRoche (10)
SB - Jose Bautista (1, 2nd base off Santos/Valentin)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - J. Wilson-F. Sanchez-LaRoche, J. Bautista-LaRoche
E - Ronny Paulino (4, Interference)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Ian Snell (W,2-1) 7600240 1.59
Damaso Marte (H,3) 1100010 1.13
Salomon Torres (S,7) 1211001 7.36
Pitches-Strikes - Ian Snell 100-0, Damaso Marte 11-0, Salomon Torres 11-0
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ian Snell 7-8, Damaso Marte 1-1
Batters Faced - Ian Snell 28, Damaso Marte 4, Salomon Torres 5
Game Information
Attendance - 22638
Game Time - 2:32
Temperature - 61
Umpires - Home - Laz Diaz, First Base - John Hirschbeck, Second Base - Bill Welke, Third Base - Wally Bell