The Pirates got a throwback performance from 43-old Babe Adams as they beat Cincinnati in the first game of a doubleheader, 3-2. The game extended their winning streak to four. Game two was a different story, though, as the Reds prevailed, 6-2. The Bucs gained ground in the pennant race just the same, as first-place New York dropped a single game to Boston, leaving Pittsburgh just half a game out.
Adams allowed a dozen hits, including at least one in every inning except the third. It helped that ten of the hits were singles and the other two doubles, and also that Adams walked nobody while his teammates played errorless defense. The Reds helped, too, getting one runner caught stealing, one picked off and one caught by center fielder Max Carey trying to stretch a single into a double.
Both runs off Adams came on two-out singles. The first came from his mound opponent, Dolf Luque, in the bottom of the second. The Cuban Luque, who’s always been a pretty good hitter for a pitcher, drove in shortstop Ike Caveney, who’d reached on a fielder’s choice and taken third on a single by ex-Pirate Al Niehaus. The Reds’ second run came on a hit by Rube Bressler in the top of the fifth that drove in second baseman Hughie Critz.
Luque’s hit tied the game and Bressler’s put the Reds ahead, 2-1. The Pirates had scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the first when Kiki Cuyler singled with two out, stole second and scored on a single by Clyde Barnhart.
That inning started a strange pattern against the always-tough Luque. In every single inning of the game, the Pirates’ first two hitters were retired and the third reached base. The Pirates broke through again due to a defensive miscue. In the bottom of the fifth, Eddie Moore walked with two out. Luque had Moore picked off, but made a bad throw that let Moore move up a base. Cuyler then doubled to tie the game, 2-2.
Finally, in the bottom of the eighth, Glenn Wright doubled, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a single by George Grantham, putting the Bucs up, 3-2. Adams gave up a two-out single in the ninth, but retired pinch hitter Curt Walker to end the game.
With the win, Adams improved to 4-2. Cuyler was 3-for-3.
Game two was a different story, as the Pirates’ Vic Aldridge couldn’t match yet another excellent Reds’ starter. Pete Donohue went the distance and held the Bucs to eight hits.
Aldridge got into trouble right away, as two singles with a walk in between loaded the bases in the first with nobody out. A deep fly ball and a ground out brought in two runs.
The Pirates got one run back in the bottom half. Carey led off with a double and Cuyler singled to make the score 2-1.
Donohue held the Bucs in check for some time after that, facing the minimum three batters in the second, third, fourth and sixth. An Aldridge single put runners at the corners with two out in the fifth, but Carey popped up.
Meanwhile, the Reds extended their lead to 3-1 in the top of the fifth. After a single and a walk, Bressler again drove in a run with a two-out single.
Cincinnati knocked Aldridge out in the top of the seventh. After a single and a sacrifice, Critz doubled to drive in a run. Critz went to third on a single by Walker and scored on another one by Edd Roush. Johnny Morrison replaced Aldridge and got a ground out that brought in Walker, making the score 6-1.
The Pirates scored the game’s final run when pinch hitter Carson Bigbee drove in Grantham, who’d reached on an error. Aldridge fell to 4-4.
With no Sunday baseball in Pennsylvania, the two teams take to the road to start a two-game series in Cincinnati tomorrow.