CINCINNATI -- As long as he is hitting like this, Wily Mo Pena won't spend much time on the Cincinnati Reds bench.
Pena hit two more homers, including a tiebreaking two-run shot in the seventh inning that sent the Reds to a 6-4 victory Wednesday night over the Pittsburgh Pirates, mired in their worst start since 1995.
Rich Aurilia also homered twice, providing more than enough for Paul Wilson (1-1) to get his first win in four starts. The right-hander gave up three runs and nine hits -- eight of them singles -- in seven innings.
But it was Pena who got the curtain call with another show of power that amazed 16,857 fans and at least one teammate.
"I've played with some pretty good players, and he hits the ball harder and the ball jumps off his bat more than anybody I've seen," said Aurilia, who played with Barry Bonds in San Francisco. "It's fun to get in the act."
Manager Dave Miley has started juggling his lineup to find a place for Pena, who opened the season as the fourth outfielder. Pena played center field on Wednesday in place of slumping Ken Griffey Jr.
Pena is hitting .400 with five homers in eight starts.
"It's almost impossible to get him out of it right now," Miley said. "He's swinging as well as anybody on the club. Everything he hits is hard."
Pittsburgh lost its fifth in a row, falling to 4-11 with a struggling rotation and the least-productive lineup in the majors.
Pena led off the fourth with a homer off Oliver Perez, and Aurilia hit a two-run shot two batters later. They formed a tag team again in the seventh against Solomon Torres (1-1) to break a 3-all tie.
After Adam Dunn doubled, Pena hit a line drive that barely cleared the wall in left field, his third homer in the last four games.
"I thought it was a line drive off the wall," Pena said. "When I heard the fireworks and the umpire said, 'Home run,' I said, 'thank you!"'
One out later, Aurilia also homered to left for a 6-3 lead.
Kent Mercker gave up an RBI single in the eighth to Bobby Hill, one of his three hits. Danny Graves got the last three outs to stay perfect in six save chances.
The Pirates had turned Great American Ball Park into a cozy summer retreat, going 12-6 in its first two seasons while averaging five runs a game. Perez and the majors' lowest-scoring offense were hoping for a refreshing visit.
Instead, they stayed in their funk.
Perez lasted only four innings, giving up seven hits, four walks and three runs in a performance that underscored his struggles. Last year, the left-hander went 4-0 in five starts against the Reds with a 1.59 ERA.
"I was a little wild," said Perez, who threw only 46 strikes out of 90 pitches. "I have to forget this and get ready for the next game."
He started for the Pirates on opening day but hasn't pitched up to the billing, giving up 19 runs in 19 innings. He's 0-2 and hasn't made it through the fifth inning in two of his four starts.
"Oliver had a nice year for us last year," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "But he's still not a finished product. There's still work to be done. Like any other 23-year-old pitcher, he's going to struggle at times."
Wilson, the Reds' opening day starter, struck out nine and retired 11 in a row over the middle innings. Matt Lawton had an RBI infield single in the second, and Rob Mackowiak -- a .300 career hitter at Great American -- doubled home two more in the third for a 3-0 lead.
But the Pirates' offense froze up, as it has all season. Pittsburgh has scored three runs or fewer in 11 of its 15 games.
Dunn gave Perez an early break by botching what should have been a sacrifice fly -- the most elusive part of the game for the power-hitting outfielder.
Last season, Dunn became the third player in major league history to drive in 100 runs in without getting a sacrifice fly. Before Wednesday's game, he got a shipment of bats that featured one engraved: Sacrifice Fly Adam Dunn."
A year ago, he had trouble hitting them. In the second inning Wednesday, he had trouble running one out. He left third base too early on Aurilia's fly to left field, and was called out on appeal.
Pirates 2B Jose Castillo, sidelined by a strained muscle in his side, took batting practice Wednesday in Pittsburgh. Castillo went on the 15-day DL on April 7 after hurting himself while swinging at a pitch. ... Griffey pinch-hit and popped out, leaving him in a 7-for-36 slump. ... 2B D'Angelo Jimenez singled in his first at-bat, snapping an 0-for-14 slump.