DeSclafani struggles, Reds eliminated by Pirates 10-4
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Anthony DeSclafani was off from the start, setting up another loss that officially eliminated the Reds.
The Pittsburgh Pirates scored four runs in the first inning off DeSclafani and pulled away to a 10-4 victory in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday, eliminating Cincinnati from postseason contention.
Jameson Taillon pitched five innings and singled for his first major league RBI, and Andrew McCutchen drove in three runs to lead the Pirates, who opened the day with a 5½-game gap and three teams to overcome in order to get a wild card berth.
Pittsburgh sent nine batters to the plate in a 17-minute top of the first inning against DeSclafani (8-4), scoring four times with the help of three walks and the first of a six combined errors in the game. McCutchen singled home a pair of runs, and Francisco Cervelli had an RBI single.
DeSclafani missed the first two months of the season with a strained oblique and skipped his prior turn. He gave up six runs in four innings, his shortest start in his last 15.
"It was just a bad game," DeSclafani said. "It was my fault. I couldn't get any momentum going. I put us in hole early."
Sean Rodriguez's two-run homer made it 6-0 in the third inning. McCutchen added a sacrifice fly in the Pirates' third straight big game on offense - 34 runs total.
"He wasn't sharp early in the game in particular," manager Bryan Price said of DeSclafani. "After that, they had the tack-on runs, and that's the kiss of death."
Taillon (4-4) gave up Adam Duvall's three-run homer. His RBI single to center in the fifth made it 7-3, although he didn't realize initially that it would drive in a run.
"Actually I was so caught up in trying to get to first base and not doing anything stupid," he said. "The first major league RBI is pretty cool. I hope I'm doing with all of the career 'firsts' now."
The Pirates skipped Taillon's previous turn in the rotation, trying to limit the rookie's innings. He missed the 2014 and '15 seasons while recovering from Tommy John surgery and an operation to repair a hernia.
The first pitch was delayed 62 minutes because of rain. The doubleheader, the first between the teams since a Reds sweep on Aug. 31, 2009, made up a May 10 postponement.
Duvall's career-high 92 RBIs are the most by a Reds batter in a season since Jay Bruce had 109 in 2013. It was Duvall's first homer since Sept. 6. ... Reds pitchers walked 10 overall, tying their season high. ... Wade LeBlanc pitched the last three innings of the lopsided game for his second save of his career. The other came in the same situation during Seattle's 14-5 win over the Mariners on July 23.
Trevor Williams (1-1) was scheduled to make his first major league start in the second game. Williams was the MVP at Triple-A Indianapolis. He'd be the 14th different starter for the Pirates this season, their most since 1996. Left-hander Brandon Finnegan (9-10) was scheduled to start for the Reds.
Pirates: Cervelli took a foul tip off the inside of his right leg in the eighth inning. After several painful minutes of recuperating, the catcher stayed in the game.
Reds: SS Zack Cozart sat out a sixth straight game with a sore right knee.
Pirates: Ivan Nova (12-6) starts the final game of the series on Sunday. He's 5-0 with a 2.41 ERA in eight starts since the Pirates acquired him in a trade with the Yankees.
Reds: Dan Straily (12-8) will make his fifth start of the season against the Pirates. He's 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA against Pittsburgh.
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