Castillo shuts down Pirates as Reds sweep series

Luis Castillo allowed only three hits over seven scoreless innings, and Shogo Akiyama hit a two-out RBI single in the fifth inning Wednesday as the Cincinnati Reds completed a four-game series sweep of the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates with a 1-0 win.

The Reds (25-26) have won five straight overall.

Archie Bradley pitched the eighth and Raisel Iglesias pitched the ninth to complete the shutout. Iglesias needed only seven pitches to pick up his eighth save.

The Pirates (14-34) have lost eight in a row.

Castillo (3-5) won his third straight start. He struck out 10 and walked one. It was another dominant performance, as he was coming off his first career complete game, a nine-inning two-hitter Friday at St. Louis.

Ke’Bryan Hayes, Josh Bell and Kevin Newman each singled to account for Pittsburgh’s hits.

The Pirates struck out 45 times in the four-game series, with two of those games going seven innings in a doubleheader on Monday.

For the second straight time out, Pittsburgh rookie right-hander JT Brubaker (1-2) pitched 5 1/3 innings, his high-water mark in seven starts this season. He gave up one run and five hits, with four strikeouts and one walk.

Despite the loss, it was an effective bounce-back game for Brubaker, who picked up his first loss of his season and career on Sept. 9 in when he gave up a season-high seven runs.

Brubaker and Castillo matched up well early. After a scoreless 4 1/2 innings, Cincinnati broke through in the fifth.

With two outs, Jose Garcia singled to left, the Reds’ second hit off Brubaker and the first one hit out of the infield. Curt Casali sent Garcia to third with a base hit to center.

Akiyama drove in Garcia with a base hit to left, and Casali was caught trying to score after Akiyama got caught in a rundown between first and second to end the inning.

Akiyama was 4-for-10 with five walks in the series.

Blogs