Alvarez had a solo home run, a bases-clearing double and added another RBI single for the Pirates. He came into the game batting just .223, but is starting to hit the ball with a bit more regularity. He has a hit in the Pirates’ last five games and has started to come around after struggling through the beginning of the season.
Alvarez batted .244 in his first full season for the Pirates last year. When he does put the ball in play, he does it with authority. He has the potential to be a future all-star, but is striking out way too often right now. He has hit 16 home runs despite his low average, which shows that if he’s able to put the bat on the ball, good things usually happen.
With the win, the Pirates earned a split of the four-game series in Cincinnati. The Pirates hold an edge in the season series at 6-4. The two teams will meet again the first series after the all-star break.
The Reds and Pirates have been closing in on the St. Louis Cardinals lately, narrowing the gap to three and 3.5 games respectively. The National League Central race is likely to go down to the last few days of the season, so every game between the division foes will be an important one.