PITTSBURGH — Sean Rodriguez stepped to the plate looking to be aggressive.
That approach paid off as he homered to open the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates a 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.
“When I try to be too passive, that’s when I swing and miss a lot,” Rodriguez said. “When I take my swing, it’s because I’m getting in my ready position and able to get my swing off. I was able to get a pitch I was able to get my swing off and hit it as good as I needed to.”
Rodriguez connected off Ross Ohlendorf (5-7), a 413-foot drive to the left-field bleachers that gave the Pirates just their second win in seven games in the midst of 12 straight games against teams who are at least 10 games under .500.
It was Rodriguez’s second career game-ending homer and his 11th home run of the season.
“It’s another cool thing for him this year,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of the utility player. “He’s done a lot of good things for us. He’s tough on himself. He expects a lot of good things to happen.”
The Reds tied the score 2-2 in the top of the ninth on pinch-hitter Ramon Cabrera’s sacrifice fly off Tony Watson (2-3), who blew his first save in two opportunities since All-Star closer Mark Melancon was traded to Washington last Saturday.
Rodriguez’s home run was the 23rd given up this season to the first batter a Reds reliever has faced.