Josh Bell, Colin Moran power Pirates past Reds
Josh Bell is not done.
That was the defining message from the All-Star first baseman after he topped 100 RBIs for the first time in the majors, hitting a three-run homer as the Pittsburgh Pirates routed the Cincinnati Reds, 14-0, on Saturday night.
“There’s a lot of weight on that number, so it’s cool to get that out of the way,” Bell said. “I’ll strive for more. It’s cool to kind of have that check go off on that box.”
After Colin Moran gave the Pirates a 7-0 lead with a pinch-hit grand slam in the sixth inning, Bell lined a fastball from Kevin Gausman into the left-field bleachers in the seventh to reach 102 RBIs.
That’s the highest total from a Pirates player during manager Clint Hurdle’s nine seasons in Pittsburgh, passing Pedro Alvarez’s 100 RBIs from 2013.
“He still has a month-plus to play,” Hurdle said. “There’s absolutely value in (topping 100 RBIs). Back in the day, you hit 20 (home runs) and 100, you were a bad dude. You were one of the baddest dudes in the league. … One hundred is still a yard marker.”
Bell’s career-high 32 home runs matched Bobby Bonilla’s mark from 1990 for the most by a Pirates switch-hitter.
The Pirates have won the first two games against Cincinnati after entering the three-game series 8-30 since the All-Star break. The Reds lost their ninth straight game at PNC Park dating to an 8-6 win June 17, 2018.
Moran’s grand slam was his fourth in the majors. He sent a curveball from Lucas Sims 396 feet to right field for his 12th homer.
Trevor Williams (6-6) allowed three hits with three strikeouts in six innings, recovering from giving up six earned runs in two innings against Washington in his last start.
“I know I’m a good pitcher,” Williams said. “I know my coaches trust me, and my teammates trust me. The beautiful thing about baseball, and also the really crummy thing about baseball, is bad games are going to happen and bad stretches are going to happen. It’s just a matter of what you’re going to do to pull yourself out.”
Two of the three hits off Williams were the first two of the season for Reds starter Alex Wood (1-3). Wood allowed four earned runs on two hits and three walks in 51⁄3 innings.
“Overall, I thought it was good,” Williams said. “Sometimes, you’ve just got to tip your cap. I felt good. Hopefully, I’ll build on tonight and go from there.”
Wood was pulled after hitting Bell to load the bases with one out in the sixth. A single off Sims from Jose Osuna produced the Pirates’ third run before Moran entered for his grand slam.
“I thought that was his best start since he’s been with us,” Reds manager David Bell said. “I don’t know what happened there his last inning. He just lost his feel for the strikes a little bit, walked a couple and hit a batter.
“You know, at that point, given how Williams was pitching and since we had to try to keep it right there, we had a groundball, and then the Moran pinch-hit grand slam was the big play of the game.”