04/13/08 6:09 PM ET
Bucs power their way to sweep of Reds
Starter Gorzelanny allows one run in 6 1/3 innings for win
By George Von Benko / Special to MLB.com
"It was good," Pirates manager John Russell said. "We've been working awful hard on a lot of the different aspects of the game, which will still have to continue, but I thought we played pretty good defense and pitched very well and got some big hits.
"We haven't had many games like this, if any -- maybe one in Florida."
Gorzelanny, coming off back-to-back ineffective starts, hurled 6 1/3 innings and gave up one run on four hits. He evened his record at 1-1.
"I thought [Gorzelanny] was outstanding," Russell opined. "It was a quality start in bad conditions. He threw the ball much better and he had his rhythm. He worked awfully hard between starts. This is kind of what we were expecting -- that he was going to have a pretty consistent start."
Gorzelanny was pleased with the outing.
"I was a little more confident out there," Gorzelanny offered. "I was challenging guys to hit me and let them get themselves out. I stayed in the zone a lot more than I did the last time. I tried to get quick outs and it was working out."
Catcher Ryan Doumit also felt Gorzelanny was outstanding.
"He had great location with all his pitches," Doumit said. "He was working ahead of a lot of hitters and that's a recipe for good things."
Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto was tagged with the loss, falling to 1-1 on the season. He pitched six innings and allowed five runs on five hits. Cueto recorded six strikeouts.
Pittsburgh jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Doumit clubbed his second home run of the campaign, as he sent a 1-0 offering from Cueto into the right-center field stands.
"You certainly don't go up there looking to hit a home run," Doumit said. "It's just one of those things -- I was sitting dead-red fastball and I got it and got good wood on it."
Luis Rivas, getting the start at second base in place of Freddy Sanchez, delivered a run-scoring, two-out double for the Pirates in the third, upping the lead to 2-0.
The Pirates broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth inning with three runs, increasing their lead to 5-0. Red-hot Nate McLouth extended his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games with a leadoff double. McLouth scored on a sacrifice fly by Doumit. Xavier Nady stroked his fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot plating Jason Bay, who had singled.
McLouth is providing a lot of punch for the Bucs at the top of the batting order.
"I'm just getting some good pitches and trying to put good swings on them," said McLouth.
The Reds got on the board in the seventh inning. Paul Bako tripled and came home on a single by Ryan Freel off Bucs reliever Franquelis Osoria.
Bay made it 9-1 with a three-run home run in the seventh inning. It was Bay's third homer of the season.
Bay, who had gotten off to a slow start at the plate, is hoping his swing is back.
"You're batting and you're trying to find anything," Bay stated. "All of a sudden, things click, and if I could tell you how it does that I'm sure everyone would want to know. But I do feel a lot more comfortable and hopefully it continues."
The Pirates are hoping to keep the momentum going after the three-game sweep of the Reds. They embark on a six-game road swing to Los Angeles and Chicago beginning Monday night against the Dodgers.
"It was huge for us, especially after getting swept by the Cubs the first three games of this homestand," McLouth said of the weekend series against the Reds. "We go back out on the road where we started it -- at .500 -- and hopefully we can have a good road trip."
George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.