Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Reds 6, Pirates 5 Star Stumbles All-Star Watson Gives Up 3 Runs in 8th Inning in Cincinnati Rally

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Reds 6, Pirates 5 Star Stumbles All-Star Watson Gives Up 3 Runs in 8th Inning in Cincinnati Rally

Article excerpt

CINCINNATI -- Tony Watson has more than earned his place in tight, late-inning situations this season for the Pirates, but Friday night was not one of those outings.

The rival Cincinnati Reds scored three eighth-inning runs off the Pirates All-Star reliever to cap a 6-5 comeback win under a full moon at Great American Ball Park.

Watson gave up a home run to Devin Mesoraco and four consecutive singles that erased a 5-3 Pirates lead and allowed the Reds to seize another game on the Pirates in the tight National League Central Division.

"It's the last guy down there you think something like that's going to happen to," said starter Jeff Locke, who provided a seventh consecutive quality start. "I'm sure he'd like to do everything over again. He's still the guy we're most likely always going to give the ball to right there. He's been trusted all season. You really feel for him."

The Pirates were up, 5-1, in the seventh, when the lead first began to erode.

Ryan Ludwick reached to open the inning when Pedro Alvarez fielded a routine grounder and threw the ball several rows deep into the first-base stands.

Ramon Santiago doubled in Ludwick and then came around to score on a groundout to make it 5-3. Both runs were unearned.

Watson, who had allowed just one hit in six consecutive scoreless appearances heading into Friday, gave up a solo home run to Mesoraco with two outs in the eighth before giving up four singles in a row to Ludwick, Chris Heisey, Ramon Santiago and pinch-hitter Brayan Pena.

"All two-strike hits, you know he got some balls in some areas he probably didn't want to," manager Clint Hurdle said. "He has been lights-out for us all year and [Friday night] he wasn't able to get that last out in the eighth inning."

The four singles scored two more runs and paved the way for Aroldis Chapman in the ninth. Chapman struck out the side for the save.

"Just didn't put anybody away when I needed to," Watson said. "All two-out runs. That can't happen, especially the eighth inning. …

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