The Pirates had two runners thrown out at second base in the first inning of tonight’s 4-3 victory against the Reds. Manager John Russell said one play was excusable, the other was a teaching moment.
The first gaffe was when Lastings Milledge was thrown out trying to advance on a sacrifice fly. Andrew McCutchen scored from third on the play without drawing a throw, as the Reds’ cutoff man fired to second base.
“With the speed of McCutchen, next time Lastings will know to shut it down,” manager John Russell said. “It’s something he’ll learn from, that he doesn’t have to push it right there.”
Ryan Doumit followed with a hard-hit single into right field. He tried to stretch it into a double and was thrown out by Jay Bruce.
“With two outs, you can’t blame Doumit for trying to stretch it,” Russell said. “The guy had to make a perfect throw, which he did. I really liked Ryan’s aggressiveness.”
Tuesday in San Francisco, Doumit also was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double.
— Third baseman Andy LaRoche left the game in the second due to back spasms.
After scooting back to first base on a pickoff attempt, LaRoche immediately signaled to first base coach Carlos Garcia. LaRoche was examined briefly by a trainer, then walked off the field.
After the game, Russell indicated the severity of the injury was still be determined.
“Hopefully, it’s not too (serious),” Russell said.
— Reds starter Mike Leake made just his second start in the majors. He allowed at least two baserunners in five of the seven innings he pitched, but never let the game spin out of control.
Leake was the Reds’ first-round draft pick (eighth overall) last year. He’s the 21st player since the inception of the draft in 1965 to reach the majors without playing a game in the minor leagues.
Among the other players to go straight to the bigs are two with Pittsburgh ties: former Pirates outfielder Xavier Nady (San Diego Padres, 2000) and Gateway High School graduate Tim Conroy (Oakland A’s, 1978).