Independence Day proved festive for the Pirates. They swept a doubleheader from Cincinnati at Forbes Field, taking the first game, 7-5, and the second game, 7-1. The Giants, meanwhile, were dropping a doubleheader to Brooklyn. The day left the Pirates in first place by two games.
In the opener, the Pirates gradually built up a big lead and then hung on through a late Cincinnati rally. After each team scored once in the first, the game stayed tied until the bottom of the fourth.
In the first, Curt Walker started the game with a single off Emil Yde and went to third when right fielder Kiki Cuyler failed to pick up the ball. The next batter, Elmer Smith, gave the Reds a quick lead with a sacrifice fly. In the bottom half, Max Carey tied the game with his speed. After drawing a walk from Reds’ starter Harry Biemiller, Carey stole second, took third on a ground out and then stole home.
The Pirates ran themselves out of a chance in the bottom of the third. Yde walked with one out, but got caught stealing. Carey then doubled, but got thrown out at the plate when Eddie Moore singled into the hole at short.
In the fourth, though, Pie Traynor singled home Cuyler, who’d walked and moved up on a double. That made it 2-1.
The Bucs kept adding on, with a run in the fifth and two each in the sixth and the seventh. In the fifth, Carey singled to drive in Johnny Gooch, who’d walked and advanced on a ground out and wild pitch. The Reds got that back in the top of the sixth on a Rube Bressler double, making the score 3-2.
Yde had a big hit in the bottom of the sixth. With runners at second and third, and two out, the Reds walked Gooch to get to the Pirates’ pitcher. Yde foiled the strategy with a single to center, driving in two runs to make it 5-2. Two more followed in the seventh off reliever Neal Brady. After two singles to start the inning, Reds’ third baseman Babe Pinelli threw away Clyde Barnhart’s bunt, bringing in a run and leaving runners at the corners. Traynor hit into a double play, but that brought in another run to extend the lead to 7-2.
Yde ran into some two-out trouble in the top of the eighth. Edd Roush doubled and scored on a single by Bressler. A walk and another single brought in Bressler, and a third run scored on a bad throw to the plate by Cuyler for his second error. Yde got a line out to end the inning, though, and gave up just a harmless single in the ninth. The win left him at 7-5.
In the second game, Specs Meadows didn’t need much help. He gave up nine hits, but they were all singles. Two of them were wasted in the second, which ended when the Pirates caught Pinelli trying to steal home. The Reds again got runners to the corners with two out in the fourth, but Meadows picked catcher Ernie Krueger off first. The only other runner to reach third came in the top of the seventh, when a walk and a single put runners at the corners, and Ike Caveney hit a sacrifice fly.
The Pirates by then had already gotten all the runs they needed in the bottom of the third off Eppa Rixey. Cuyler walked, took third on a single by Barnhart and scored on another one by Traynor. Glenn Wright then lined a ball into Forbes Field’s cavernous left-center field and came around for a three-run, inside-the-park home run. It was Wright’s 12th home run of the season and put the Bucs up, 4-0.
The Pirates’ other runs all came in the bottom of the seventh, after the Reds had narrowed the lead a little to 4-1. An error, a steal and a passed ball put Eddie Moore on third, and Barnhart singled to score him. After a walk to Traynor, Stuffy McInnis tripled over third, making it 7-1.
Meadows got double plays to end both the eighth and ninth innings. The win left his record at 12-4. Since they lost the first game of a doubleheader on May 12, the Pirates have gone 36-14. They now head to Chicago for one game before moving on to New York.