Pirates wasteful at plate, reckless on bases in another brutal loss

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Brandon Phillips tags out Grégory Polanco to complete a pickoff in the second inning. - GETTY

You know a team is going through a tough stretch when it's difficult to pick out which recent loss was more painful. Counting a 13-inning loss in Chicago 11 days ago and Tuesday's meltdown against the Cardinals, the Pirates have some choices lately.

Giving away outs and runs in dueling fashion, the Pirates were edged by the last-place Reds, 4-3 on Friday night at PNC Park, ending their two-game win streak in a wasteful manner.

José Peraza's sacrifice fly in the ninth off Tony Watson provided the winning margin for Cincinnati, but the Pirates had an opportunity to at least tie in the bottom half when the bases were loaded with one out. However, Josh Harrison popped up on the first pitch from Raisel Iglesias and Adam Frazier followed suit.

"We have not shown the ability to play to the level of what our skill set is on offense," Clint Hurdle said. "We still have complicated things."