MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Pittsburgh2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 350
Cincinnati0 1 0 0 1 0 1 2 x 581
  W: S. Doolittle (1-0)   L: S. Howard (1-1)   S: A. Garrett (1)
3:40 PM PT4:40 PM MT5:40 PM CT6:40 PM ET18:40 ET22:40 GMT6:40 3:40 PM MST5:40 PM EST6:10 PM VEN2:40 UAE (+1)4:40 PM CT, April 5, 2021
Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio  Attendance: 9,097

Nick Castellanos, Reds hope to keep runs coming vs. Pirates

According to STATS
According to STATS

Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds

  1. The Reds went 7-3 against the Pirates last season, sweeping a four-game series in Cincinnati in September. They outscored Pittsburgh by 19 runs last season, best by any NL Central team against any opponent.
  2. The Pirates won their opening game but then dropped two straight to the Cubs, scoring five runs in the win and a combined four runs in the two losses. They had 23 plate appearances with runners in scoring position in their first game compared to a combined eight plate appearances in their last two.
  3. Bryan Reynolds tallied a hit in each game in the series against the Cubs, batting .333. Reynolds hit .314 with 57 extra-base hits in his rookie season in 2019, but batted just .189 with 15 XBH in 2020.
  4. The Reds scored 27 runs against the Cardinals in their opening series, their most through three games of the season since 1976, when they won their second consecutive World Series.
  5. Nick Castellanos was suspended for two games after an altercation on Saturday and is appealing the suspension. Castellanos went 6-for-11 with two home runs and five RBI, after hitting .189 with two home runs and seven RBI over his last 19 games of the 2020 season.
  6. Bryan Reynolds, Colin Moran and Phillip Evans went a combined 7-for-12 in the 3-4-5 spots on Sunday. The Pirates' 3-4-5 hitters are batting .371 so far this season, best in MLB.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/5/2021 thru 4/7/2021

Nick Castellanos' strong start is a big reason the Cincinnati Reds won their season-opening series against the St. Louis Cardinals. He also has been very good against the Pittsburgh Pirates during his career.

Castellanos looks to stay hot and help the Reds to a third straight win against the Pirates at home on Monday night.

Cincinnati totaled 27 runs, 30 hits and belted six home runs while taking two of three from NL Central Division-favorite St. Louis. According to Elias Sports Bureau, it's the third time the Reds have scored at least that many runs through the first three games of a season.

It's an especially strong start after the Reds ranked last in the majors in batting (.212) and 28th in average runs per game (4.05) in 2020. Castellanos went 6-for-11 with a pair of homers, a double, triple, six runs scored and five RBIs during the opening set.

His three-run homer in the fifth inning Sunday broke a 1-1 tie and ultimately helped the Reds to a 12-1 victory.

"Hitting is contagious, and we're having fun," Castellanos said. "We're becoming boys with each other, and that's step one of a good team."

Through 46 career games versus Pittsburgh, Castellanos is batting .330 with nine homers, 13 doubles, four triples and a whopping 38 RBIs. Three of those homers came during his first season with Cincinnati in 2020.

He went 2-for-3 with a double last season against Monday's scheduled starter for the Pirates, JT Brubaker, who went 1-3 with a 5.53 ERA in his nine starts last season as a rookie.

Despite Castellanos' success versus Brubaker, one of the right-hander's better outings came at Cincinnati on Sept. 16. He allowed the only run of Pittsburgh's 1-0 loss over 5 1/3 innings, while also striking out four.

Brubaker yielded 12 hits, including four home runs during spring training, so he hopes to be more refined now that the games count.

The Pirates will be trying to even their mark after dropping two of three to the Chicago Cubs.

"Mentally, I'm focused on throwing strikes and trying to get ahead of batters," Brubaker told the Pirates' official website. "I'm not trying to be too fine or so something that isn't in my style of pitching."

The Reds will counter with rookie Jose De Leon. He made the 2021 roster despite allowing 12 runs, six hits and 11 walks while striking out 10 over six innings of five relief appearances for Cincinnati last season.

De Leon, who struck out 24 but yielded five homers and posted an 8.64 ERA through five spring-training outings, makes his first start since September 2016 for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The right-hander, however, won't have to face budding Pittsburgh star Ke'Bryan Hayes, who was placed on the 10-day injured list with some left wrist inflammation suffered Saturday against the Cubs.

Pirates third baseman Colin Moran went 3-for-8 with a homer in the last two games at Chicago. He has hit six of his nine career home runs against the Reds at Cincinnati.

Cincinnati's Jesse Winker (3-for-8 in 2021) has batted .360 in 21 home games against Pirates, and hopes to be in the Reds' lineup after missing Sunday's game due to illness. Rookie second baseman Jonathan India went 5-for-11 against the Cardinals.

--Field Level Media

Updated April 4, 2021

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