Cincinnati — José Iglesias hit his first career grand slam off Mitch Keller in the right-hander’s major league debut, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-1 on Monday for a split of their day-night doubleheader.
The former Tiger’s homer was part of a six-run first. Derek Dietrich and Yasiel Puig added back-to-back homers in the seventh against Alex McRae.
Pittsburgh rallied for an 8-5 victory in the opener, going ahead to stay when Bryan Reynolds hit a tiebreaking two-run triple in the Pirates’ four-run eighth inning.
Kyle Crick (2-1) got four outs for the win, and Felipe Vázquez earned his 14th save.
The doubleheader was created when the Pirates-Reds game on March 30 was rained out.
Cincinnati jumped all over Keller (0-1) at the start of the second game. Nick Senzel walked, Jesse Winker singled and Eugenio Suárez walked to load the bases with no outs in the first.
After Dietrich struck out, Puig singled in a run and Iglesias hit a drive to left-center for his fourth homer this season. Senzel also had an RBI single in the inning as the Reds sent 11 batters to the plate.
Keller, one of Pittsburgh’s top prospects, allowed seven hits, struck out seven and walked two in four innings.
Cincinnati’s fast start was more than enough support for Sonny Gray (2-4), who pitched six innings of one-run ball. The right-hander struck out seven and walked two in his second straight win.
The doubleheader opener was tied at 4 before Reynolds’ one-out liner off David Hernandez (1-3) drove in Cole Tucker and Adam Frazier. Starling Marté followed with a shot to center for his sixth homer, lifting Pittsburgh to an 8-4 lead.
“A runner on second, late in the game, you want to do something to drive him in,” Reynolds said of his first career triple. “It’s always nice to mark things off your list.”
Hernandez felt he was close to escaping the situation.
“I thought I had Reynolds struck out,” Hernandez said. “I didn’t get the call. I didn’t think he swung, but I thought I caught the bottom of the zone. I haven’t looked at it again, but it looked good to me. You still have to make pitches after that. Marté was a flat slider, middle away. If I throw him a good one down and away, it’s not a home run.”
Josh Bell hit his 17th homer for Pittsburgh in Game 1. He has 11 this month, tops in the majors.
Vázquez replaced Crick with the bases loaded in the eighth and struck out Senzel, ending the inning. Vázquez then worked the ninth, yielding a sacrifice fly to Curt Casali before coaxing Puig into a game-ending groundout.
Joey Votto had three hits for Cincinnati in his fourth consecutive multihit game. Suárez finished with three hits and two RBIs in the opener.
Cincinnati had lost six in a row against Pittsburgh before taking the nightcap.