For the Cincinnati Reds, Cody Reed was code red Tuesday night in PNC Park — a bunch of fire and smoke from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Reed spent most of this season at Class AAA Louisville, doing a Reconstruction Act with his pitching. He was installed into the starting rotation last week and made his second start Tuesday.
It didn’t go well.
Reed gave up six runs and nine hits in five innings and it all led to a 7-3 defeat to the Pirates, who have beaten the Reds 11 times in 15 meetings this season. And it was the 80th defeat of the season for the Reds, just two defeats away from preventing a .500 season.
Meanwhile, the Reds were all but helpless against Pittsburgh starter Joe Musgrove, a player the Pirates obtained over the winter in a trade that sent their No. 1 pitcher, Gerrit Cole, to the Houston Astros.
Musgrove did a wonderful imitation of Cole for six innings — no runs, two hits, no walks and eight strikeouts.
Reed encountered some tough luck in the first inning after he gave up a long one-out double to Adam Frazier, his fifth straight hit against the Reds after going 4-for-4 on Labor Day.
The next two batters, Gregory Polanco and Francisco Cervelli both hit ground balls between shortstop and third for singles and the Pirates owned a quick 1-0 lead.
There was no misfortune in the third and fourth, though. Reed gave up an infield single and a walk before Polanco pulled a two-run double down the right field line in the third. Cervelli rolled an infield hit and there were runners on second and first with one out.
Reed ignored the runners and the Pirates pulled off a double steal, putting Polanco on third, enabling him to score on a sacrifice fly by Jose Osuna, providing Musgrove with a 4-0 lead after three.
It ballooned to 6-0 in the fourth when Pablo Reyes beat an infield hit, his first major league hit, and Starling Marte planted one into the right field seats, a two-run home run and it was 6-0.
Musgrove gave up a bloop two-out single to Joey Votto in the first. Then he retired 10 straight until Scott Schebler produced the Reds second hit in the fifth inning, an infield hit.
The Reds tried to stage a late-game revival, led by Scooter Gennett’s two home runs, both landing in the same exit tunnel in right field.
His first homer came with one out in the seventh. When Eugenio Suarez and Schebler followed with singles, it signaled the end of Musgrove’s work night.
His replacement, Richard Rodriguez, walked Tucker Barnhart to load the bases and he hit Phillip Ervin with a pitch, forcing in a run.
That made it 6-2 with one out and the bases still loaded. Rodriguez went to 2-and-0 on pinch-hitter Dilson Herrera, earning Rodriguez a mound visit from pitching coach Ray Searage.
Whatever he said worked. Rodriguez quickly struck out Herrera. He went to 1-and-2 on pinch-hitter Mason Williams, who then fouled off six straight pitches. On the 12th pitch of the at bat Williams grounded out to second, ending the uprising.
Gennett struck again in the eighth with two outs when he repeated his seventh inning act, launching his 22nd home run to cut Pittsburgh’s lead to 6-3.
The Pirates grabbed that run back in the bottom of the eighth against Michael Lorenzen on Jordan Luplow’s single and a double by Pablo Reyes.
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