Harvey, Gennett help Reds slam Pirates
So far, Matt Harvey is making good on his second chance.
The former Mets ace allowed only one run over six innings for his first win with the Cincinnati Reds, and Scooter Gennett hit his fifth grand slam in the last two seasons on Tuesday night for a 7-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Reds traded catcher Devin Mesoraco to the Mets for Harvey on May 8, giving him a chance to revive a career that had bottomed out. Harvey (1-2) has thrown more pitches each outing as he gets back into form after being relegated to the Mets bullpen.
He is looking a little better each time out, too. He limited the Pirates to three hits.
“It was a good step for me,” Harvey said. “There were times earlier this year when I thought I might not get another win in the big leagues. It was good to get that first one.”
The Pirates loaded the bases in the first with the help of a pair of walks, but Harvey escaped the threat by fanning Colin Moran for the first of his five strikeouts. Moran hit a solo homer in the fourth.
Harvey has thrown 55, 77 and 93 pitches in his starts for Cincinnati. He has yielded four runs and 11 hits in 14 innings.
“It’s an opportunity for him to find another way — a different way, a different team,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “This could turn out to be a really good opportunity for him. He’s going through an evolution process as well.”
Gennett led the majors with a club-record four grand slams last season. He got his first of this season off Jameson Taillon (2-4), connecting on a high changeup in the fifth inning. Taillon hasn’t won in eight starts since he threw a one-hitter to beat the Reds on April 8 at PNC Park.
The Pirates intentionally walked Joey Votto to load the bases and bring up Gennett, who has grounded into six double plays, tied for the most on the team.
“It definitely makes sense what they did,” Gennett said. “I think Joey’s the best hitter in baseball. I definitely didn’t take it personally, but I do like getting up there with the bases loaded.”
Gennett also had an RBI double in the first inning and a sacrifice fly in the seventh for a season-high six RBIs. His career high is 10 RBIs during his four-homer game against St. Louis last June 6.
The Pirates dropped their fourth in a row overall.