Zach Duke struggled in his final start of the season Saturday, as the Pirates lost, 8-4, against the Cincinnati Reds.
Duke (11-16) worked five innings and gave up five runs on six hits. He walked five, one shy of his career high, and struck out two.
“My fastball command wasn’t very good tonight,” Duke said. “I worked behind in the count too much.”
Duke finished tied with Ross Ohlendorf for the team lead in victories, but also leads the National League in losses.
“I’m pretty proud of the work I did this year,” Duke said. “The numbers have falled off of late, and that’s kind of frustrating. But I feel like I gave this team a chance to win more times that not when I was on the mound. For a starting pitcher, that’s what it’s all about.”
The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the first inning against Johnny Cueto (11-11). Andrew McCutchen walked and scored on Andy LaRoche’s double.
The Reds tied it in the second went ahead with one run in the third and three in the fourth.
In the sixth inning, Delwyn Young hit a three-run homer to pull the Pirates within 5-4. It was Young’s first home run since Aug. 18.
Cincinnati pulled away in the sixth by scoring two runs off reliever Chris Bootcheck.
Righty reliever Anthony Claggett made his Pirates debut in the eighth. He is the 49th player and 26th pitcher the team has used this year, both club records. Claggett served up Votto’s solo homer.
· Catcher Ryan Doumit sat out tonight’s game and most likely will not play Sunday due to concussion-like symptons. Doumit took a foul ball off his mask in Friday’s game. “It doesn’t seem to be (a major injury), but there’s some wooziness,” manager John Russell said.