Kevin Newman’s home runs give Pirates win over Reds |

Kevin Newman’s home runs give Pirates win over Reds

Associated Press
The Pirates’ Kevin Newman hits a three-run home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the fifth inning Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Pittsburgh.
Pirates starter Steven Brault (left), talks with catcher Jacob Stallings in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Pittsburgh.
The Pirates’ Jake Elmore is forced out at home plate on a bases-loaded ground ball by Pablo Reyes as Reds catcher Curt Casali looks to throw in the third inning Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Pittsburgh.

Last September was a nightmare for Kevin Newman.

This one is going much better.

Newman hit a two-run homer with two out in the ninth inning to give the Pittsburgh Pirates a 6-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.

Jake Elmore set up Newman’s game-ending swing with a leadoff single against Raisel Iglesias (3-12). After Erik Gonzalez and Melky Cabrera grounded out, Newman hit a drive into the bleachers in left for his 12th homer.

Newman made his big league debut last August and hit .209 in 31 games. But the 2015 first-round pick looks like he belongs right now.

The 26-year-old Newman also hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning against Cincinnati. The shortstop is batting .310 and slugging .438 this season in an impressive turnaround.

“It’s part of the pleasure and joy and rewards that come with coaching,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “Deal with adversity, come up with a different plan, make adjustments, match it up, then fight, battle and come out the other side.”

Newman and Bryan Reynolds are angling to become the first pair of qualified rookie teammates to each hit over .300 since 1975.

“I take a lot of pride in this year compared to last year,” Newman said. “I worked really hard in the offseason, I worked really hard in spring training and I feel like I’ve seen the benefits of it throughout the year.”

It was Iglesias’ sixth blown save opportunity. Yacksel Rios (1-0) worked a scoreless inning for his fifth career victory.

Michael Lorenzen put the Reds ahead with an RBI single in the eighth and pitched two scoreless innings after moving to the mound from center field.

“It’s a dream come true,” Lorenzen said. “You can contribute in so many different ways as a position player. Whether it’s making a good play in the outfield or you get one good at-bat out of the four that you get.”

It was the first time Lorenzen had pitched after starting a game in the outfield. Primarily a reliever, he also has played left field, pinch-hit and pinch-ran while playing in 103 of Cincinnati’s 160 games.

“Having had him do all this and get through it physically fine gives us a lot more confidence knowing what’s possible with Michael,” Reds manager David Bell said.

The Reds scored two in the first and two in the fifth off Steven Brault. A two-way player in his own right, Brault had a sacrifice bunt and a single to increase his batting average to .341 on the season.

Hurdle said the Pirates have had discussion about allowing Brault to play some outfield in 2020.

“Everything goes in circles,” Brault said. “There used to be two-way players way back in the day, and then people decided it wouldn’t work in major league baseball. What you’re seeing is that it can.”

Reynolds missed his second straight game with right hamstring discomfort. 3B Colin Moran missed his third game with hip discomfort. Hurdle did not rule out a return over the weekend for either player.

Reds RHP Lucas Sims (2-1, 4.39 ERA) will make his fourth start of the season Saturday. He has 20 appearances in relief. His last start on Sept. 3 lasted 22/3 innings.

Pirates RHP James Marvel (0-3, 10.22) will make his fourth major league start. He has allowed 12 earned runs over his last two outings.

Categories: Sports | Pirates
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.