Aristides Aquino, Brian O’Grady and Alex Blandino hit solo homers Sunday as the visiting Cincinnati Reds downed the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1 in both teams’ season finale.
Cincinnati won its second in a row to take the series after five straight losses.
The Pirates were managed by bench coach Tom Prince. Pittsburgh fired manager Clint Hurdle about 90 minutes before game time.
Hurdle was 735-720-1 with three straight playoff appearances from 2013-15 after taking over in 2011.
The Reds were 75-87 in manager David Bell’s first season.
Melky Cabrera had two of seven hits for the Pirates, who finished 69-93.
Cincinnati starter Tyler Mahle (3-12) pitched five scoreless innings, giving up three hits, striking out five and walking none.
Michael Lorenzen pitched the ninth for his seventh save.
Pittsburgh starter Trevor Williams (7-9) went five innings, allowing two runs and five hits, with five strikeouts and two walks.
As he took the mound at the start of the game, Williams stepped off, removed his cap and saluted Steve Blass in the radio booth, touching off a loud ovation. Blass is retiring after 60 years with the Pirates’ organization as a World Series-winning pitcher and broadcaster.
One Reds’ batter who did not hit a homer was Eugenio Suarez, who entered the series at 49 at ended the season one shot short of 50.
In the second, Aquino hit his 19th homer, a shot to left, to lead off for a 1-0 Reds’ lead.
It was O’Grady’s turn in the fifth. With one out, he cleared the fence in right-center, his second homer, for a 2-0 lead.
Pittsburgh cut it to 2-1 in the sixth. Against reliever Amir Garrett, Adam Frazier drew a one-out walk. With Cabrera at the plate, Frazier moved to second on a wild pitch. Cabrera pushed Frazier to third with an infield single.
That chased Garrett for Sal Romano. Jose Osuna’s sacrifice fly to center scored Frazier.
In the eighth Blandino hit his first homer, to right-center, off Richard Rodriguez to increase the lead to 3-1.
—Field Level Media