Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Players on Edge, Tension Mounts Hurdle Is Ejected from Tough Defeat Reds 5 Pirates 4

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Players on Edge, Tension Mounts Hurdle Is Ejected from Tough Defeat Reds 5 Pirates 4

Article excerpt

CINCINNATI -- For the second consecutive night, the sellout crowd at Great American Ball Park got a show.

This time, they saw home runs, triples and an ejection in a series where frustration continues to mount.

Todd Frazier's ground ball scored Scott Rolen in the eighth inning and gave the Cincinnati Reds a 5-4 win against the Pirates Saturday night.

The Pirates now trail the Reds, who have won five games in a row, by 51/2 games in the NL Central. The Reds have won 22 of their past 25 games.

Rolen tripled to center off Jared Hughes in the eighth. On Frazier's high chopper, Rolen took off for home. Hughes fielded the chopper and threw to first, allowing Rolen to score, and the Reds took a 5-4 lead.

"The moment I looked home, I realized the ball, I didn't have a good grip on it yet," Hughes said.

The next batter, Dioner Navarro, grounded softly down the first- base line and Hughes shoved him as he applied the tag, the latest evidence of frustration after two hit Pirates batters in the first two games of the series.

"It's expected when you've got two teams battling for a top spot and also a close race," Josh Harrison said. "The beauty of this game is we can come back and win one tomorrow."

In the second, Reds starter Mike Leake hit Harrison on the left thigh. Harrison flipped his bat toward the Pirates' dugout with purpose and appeared to exchange words with Leake as he jogged to first.

The incident occurred one night after Aroldis Chapman hit Andrew McCutchen with two outs in the ninth inning, so home plate umpire Brian Gorman, the crew chief for the series, warned both dugouts. Hurdle came out to argue and was subsequently ejected.

"I felt like we were getting a little bit of a short end of the stick there," Hurdle said. "The wind's blowing out, you got to pitch in, for a warning at that point in time -- we just disagreed."

Harrison declined to comment on the exchange with Leake, but said he didn't know whether he was hit intentionally or not.

James McDonald allowed runs early, but improved after the third. He allowed no hits and one walk in his final three innings and struck out four. He pitched six innings and allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits, walking one and striking out seven. …

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