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2013 National League Wild Card Game
From BR Bullpen
|2013 National League Wild Card Game|
94 - 68 in the NL
|1 - 0
90 - 72 in the NL
 The Teams
 Series results
 NLWC: Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
|1||Cincinnati Reds 2 Pittsburgh Pirates 6||October 1||Johnny Cueto (0-1) Francisco Liriano (1-0)||8:07 pm|
 Game 1 @ PNC Park
|WP: Francisco Liriano (1-0), LP: Johnny Cueto (0-1)|
|Home Runs: - CIN: Shin-Soo Choo (1); PIT: Russell Martin 2 (2), Marlon Byrd (1)|
- Attendance: 40,487
The Pittsburgh Pirates won the National League Wild Card Game, 6-2 at home over the Cincinnati Reds, in a convincing display of excellent pitching and timely power hitting. Rejuvenated starter Francisco Liriano, the Pirates' most consistent hurler all season, set the tone for the game by coming out firing on all cylinders. He needed only 8 pitches to retire the side in order in the 1st, and by the time he had completed the 3rd inning, his pitch count had barely reached 27, while all 9 Reds batters thus far had made outs. He had been 0-3 against Cincinnati in the regular season while being 16-5 against the rest of the major leagues.
Buoyed by Liriano's strong pitching, the Pirates came out firing against Reds starter Johnny Cueto in the 2nd inning, with the huge crowd at PNC Park, starved of postseason action for 21 years, being extremely loud, to the point that it invited comparisons with the Caribbean World Series. Cueto had been dominant against Pittsburgh in the past, entering with a 1.90 career ERA at PNC Park. Pirates RF Marlon Byrd, playing his first postseason game in his 12th big league season, homered off Cueto to lead off the inning and open the score. After Pedro Alvarez made an out, Cueto literally dropped the ball while waiting for a sign from his catcher, Ryan Hanigan, while facing C Russell Martin, an indication that the atmosphere was getting to him. Martin immediately followed with a solo homer of his own to make it 2-0. Pittsburgh then put two runners on base before 3B Todd Frazier made a superb diving catch into the stands on Neil Walker's pop-up to end the inning. In the 3rd, the Pirates added another run, though, when Andrew McCutchen opened the frame with a single, and went to third when SS Zack Cozart misplayed Byrd's ground ball. Alvarez followed with a sacrifice fly for a 3-0 lead.
The Reds got a run back in the top of the 4th after Liriano plunked lead-off hitter Shin-Soo Choo and Ryan Ludwick followed with a single; after two outs, Jay Bruce singled to left to drive in Choo, but that run would be the only one the Reds would chalk up against Liriano, who gave up only 2 more hits and a walk until leaving after pitching 7 strong innings. If the run had given the Reds some hope, it was short lived. Starling Marte doubled after one out in the bottom of the 4th, chasing Cueto from the game. His replacement, Sean Marshall, failed to retire any of the three men he faced: Walker followed with a double to make it 4-1, McCutchen was walked intentionally, then Justin Morneau walked as well, loading the bases. Marshall departed in favor of J.J. Hoover, but Byrd's grounder drove in another run, making the Bucs' lead 5-1.
Russell Martin then put his name next to that of Bob Robertson in the Pirates' record book by leading off the bottom of the 7th with a homer off reliever Logan Ondrusek. Before Martin, Robertson had been the only other Pirates player to have a multi-homer game in the postseason, hitting three in one game in the 1971 National League Championship Series against the San Francisco Giants. The final score of the game came in the top of the 8th, when Choo hit a solo homer with one out off reliever Tony Watson on a play that required a video review. Ludwick followed with a double, but was stranded as Watson retired the next two batters. Jason Grilli then came on for the 9th and retired the Reds in order. The 6-2 win enabled the Pirates to move to face the St. Louis Cardinals in the Division Series.
 Related Sites
|Major League Baseball Wild Card Game|