Jameson Taillon threw a one-hit shutout, and Gregory Polanco and Corey Dickerson each hit home runs as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the visiting Cincinnati Reds 5-0 on a chilly Sunday afternoon at PNC Park.
The Reds’ offense had 24 hits combined in the first two games of the series but couldn’t figure out Taillon (2-0) on Sunday. The right-hander struck out seven and walked two in the complete-game gem.
He also made an impact at the plate.
Pittsburgh grabbed a 1-0 lead with a pair of two-out hits in the second inning. Jordy Mercer doubled to center field and then came home on a single by Taillon.
Cincinnati rookie starter Tyler Mahle maintained the one-run deficit into the fifth inning, before running into trouble. Polanco and Dickerson homered, and Josh Bell had an RBI single that gave Pittsburgh a 5-0 cushion. It was Polanco’s third home run of the season and the first for Dickerson. Both homers came with two-strike counts.
The right-handed Mahle (1-1), who shut out the Chicago Cubs over six innings in his season debut, surrendered five runs on nine hits with two strikeouts and a walk in 4 2/3 innings against the Pirates.
Mahle did have the Reds’ only hit, a single in the second inning.
The Reds lost third baseman Eugenio Suarez to a fractured right thumb in the fourth inning when he was hit by Taillon’s pitch. Suarez homered and had five RBIs in Cincinnati’s 7-4 victory on Saturday.
It was Taillon’s second straight impressive performance to start the season and an early feel-good story. He allowed two runs and struck out nine in a win over the Minnesota Twins last week. He missed parts of last season undergoing treatment for testicular cancer last season.
Taillon walking Cliff Pennington in the ninth inning, and he later got Joey Votto to line out for the final out to finish off his first career shutout.
The Reds head to Philadelphia to open a three-game series against the Phillies, beginning Monday.
The Pirates, who improved to 7-2 after Sunday’s win, open a six-game road trip against the Cubs on Monday.
The temperature was in the mid-30s before Sunday’s first pitch.
—Field Level Media