Reds, Castillo blank Pirates 1-0 to sweep series
CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo pitched a masterful seven innings, Shogo Akiyama drove in the game’s only run, and the Reds extended their winning streak to a season-high five games with a 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.
Castillo (3-5), coming off his first career complete game in a 3-1 win at St. Louis on Friday, retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced and gave up only three hits and a walk with 10 strikeouts, helping the Reds stay close in the National League playoff race.
Archie Bradley pitched a perfect eighth before Raisel Iglesias pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his eighth save.
Pittsburgh rookie J.T. Brubaker (1-2) tied his career high with 5 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and x runs with one walk and four strikeouts.
Brubaker, who grew up about 90 miles north of Cincinnati in Springfield, Ohio, allowed a hit and a walk in four innings before the Reds pieced together a two-out rally in the fifth on consecutive singles by Jose Garcia, Curt Casali and Akiyama, whose liner to left knocked in Garcia.
The third-place Reds went into Wednesday’s series finale one-half game behind second-place St. Louis in the Central and ninth in the overall NL standings, one-half game behind the Giants for the final postseason berth. San Francisco was scheduled to play the Mariners late Wednesday in a game postponed from Tuesday and moved from Seattle to San Francisco because of poor air quality.
St. Louis beat the Brewers, 4-2, on Wednesday in the first game of a doubleheader in Milwaukee. The top two teams in each division and the two teams in the league with the next-best records qualify for the playoffs.
The Pirates set a season low for hits and couldn’t get a runner past first base on the way to their season-high eighth straight loss.
Pirates: Closer Keone Kela likely isn’t returning to pitch for the Pirates with less than two weeks left in the season. He’s been out with right forearm inflammation since Aug. 21. Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said Kela is playing catch but still not throwing off a mound.
Reds: LHP Wade Miley “threw well” during a side session on Tuesday, manager David Bell said before Wednesday’s game. “We’ll see how he recovers,” Bell said. Miley (0-3) has been out since Aug. 28 with a left shoulder strain..
Pirates: LHP Steven Brault (0-3) goes against St. Louis RHP Dakota Hudson (3-2, 2.92 ERA) on Thursday night. Brault is 0-7 with a 5.97 ERA in five starts and six relief appearances against the Cardinals in his career.
Reds: Cincinnati’s and the White Sox’s starting pitchers for Friday’s series-opener were not announced.