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De La Cruz hit a long homer, drives in three runs as Reds rout Pirates

Cincinnati Reds Elly De La Cruz Elly De La Cruz - The Canadian Press

CINCINNATI (AP) — Ellie De La Cruz hit a long homer and had three RBIs, Spencer Steer drove in three runs and the Cincinnati Reds routed the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-5 on Monday night.

Two-run doubles by Steer and Stuart Fairchild paced a five-run fourth inning for the Reds, who had scored just three total in dropping two of three to the Pirates last week in Pittsburgh.

Reds outfielder Levi Jordan, who made his major league debut at age 28, collected his first RBI on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning. He had his first hit in the sixth, a double off the wall in right field, and eventually scored.

“It was everything I expected and a lot more,” said Jordan, whose parents were in stands to see his debut. “I've never really been in a situation where people cheered for me just for a debut kind of thing. Worth some chills.”

De La Cruz's big hit also came in the sixth following a one-out double by Jonathan India. The 22-year-old shortstop hit a 1-0 cutter from reliever Daulton Jefferies 439 feet on to a seating area atop the faux riverboat building that houses the batter's eye in straight-away center field.

“India and me was talking before the game in practice, (saying) like, nobody can hit the ball up there,” De La Cruz said.

India said the two were teasing each other in batting practice about which one of them could hit the ball the farthest.

“I said, ‘You can’t even hit the boat.’ And then he did it in the game, and I was in awe,” India said. “I can't believe he did it.”

Carson Spiers (1-1), starting for just the second time this season, got Cincinnati through six innings, allowing three runs and six hits while striking out five and getting his first major league win.

Pirates starter Bailey Falter (3-6) retired Cincinnati in order in the first three innings but ran into trouble in the fourth, eventually giving up four earned runs and five hits.

“I think the first time through (the lineup), he did a good job executing the fastball at the top of the zone and the inner part of the plate," Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. "It looked like in the fourth inning, the ball leaked back toward the middle. Because of that we saw the hard contact.”

Bryan Reynolds had a two-out single in the third inning to drive in the first run for the Pirates and extend his hitting streak games to 21, the longest active streak in the majors.

Oneil Cruz had a two-run homer for Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, but Justin Wilson struck out Nick Gonzales to seal it.


Pirates: RHP Dennis Santana had to leave the game after he was hit in the right arm by a line drive.

Reds: CF TJ Friedl went on the 10-day injured list because of strained right hamstring suffered when he made a diving catch last week in Pittsburgh. He's expected to miss at least a few weeks.


The Pirates will send right-hander Mitch Keller (8-4, 3.11 ERA) to the mound to face Reds right-hander Hunter Greene (5-2, 4.35) as the series continues on Tuesday night.