Suarez powers Reds past Pirates 7-4

The Cincinnati Reds have struggled to come up with big hits in key situations so far this season.
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Eugenio Suarez stepped up Saturday night.

Elite Giorgio Tavecchio Jersey Suarez hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning, and the Reds cooled off the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 7-4 victory.

Corey Dickerson hit a two-run double for Pittsburgh in the first. Josh Harrison added a sacrifice fly in the second, and Adam Frazier had an RBI single.

But Cincinnati’s pitching tightened up after that, retiring 16 straight Pirates from the third through eighth innings.

Chad Kuhl struck out seven in five innings for Pittsburgh. He was charged with two runs and five hits.

Pirates left-hander Steven Brault will remain in the starting rotation after pitching five Dion Phaneuf Youth jersey effective innings in a 5-2 win over Cincinnati on Thursday. Brault made a spot start in place of injured right-hander Joe Musgrove.

The Pirates are off Tuesday, and could have gone with a four-man rotation until April 15, but Hurdle wanted to give Brault another shot.

This is a guy that we believe is going to be a starter, Hurdle said. Right now, he’s got an opportunity to do it.

Reds first baseman Joey Votto, a Toronto native, had Humboldt Broncos written on his cleats in honor of the victims of the fatal bus accident Friday involving Saskatchewan’s Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team.

Even in the Pro Day setting, Barrett didn’t let an uncertain future get in way of one last route tree.

I was happy because this is the last time I’ll be in an Ohio State uniform, Barrett said. Be out here as Ohio State, J.T. Barrett, quarterback. It’s my last time for that.

There’s the paradox that Barrett might not get drafted. After all, he already has been through the ups and downs some NFL quarterbacks experience. He took advantage of an opportunity in 2014 as a redshirt freshman to set up a national championship run before a season-ending injury against Michigan. Cardale Jones won the starting job the following season before Barrett took it back, but not before an arrest for an OVI. Barrett then spent the last two seasons on the fringe of the Heisman conversation while losses to Penn State, Clemson, Oklahoma and Iowa seemed to weigh far heavier than the victories he compiled.