PITTSBURGH -- Down to their final strike, the Cincinnati Reds were glad to have Rich Aurilia at the plate.
Aurilia's two-out, two-strike double to right-center field off Jose Mesa tied the game in the ninth inning, and the Reds added three more runs in the 10th Saturday night to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2, their third consecutive win.
"You don't have anything to lose in those situations," Aurilia said. "Because a lot of times people don't expect you to succeed.
"He threw me another fastball and I stayed on it and hit it where I was supposed to hit it. So tonight was nice, to be down to one strike and to get a big hit off one of the premier closers."
Mesa (2-7) hit Edwin Encarnacion with a pitch with the bases loaded to force in the go-ahead run in the 10th. He later allowed Felipe Lopez's sacrifice fly and an RBI single by pinch-hitter Wily Mo Pena as the Pirates lost their fourth consecutive game.
"They don't get any tougher than that," Pittsburgh manager Lloyd McClendon said.
Reliever David Weathers (7-1) allowed one hit and walked one in one inning to earn the victory, Cincinnati's fifth in six games.
Kent Mercker earned his fourth save in six opportunities. He allowed the Pirates a run when Humberto Cota doubled home Jason Bay with two outs.
Ryan Doumit gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead with a one-out homer in the fourth inning. It was his fourth of the season, the first from the right side for the switch-hitter. It was the 36th homer allowed by starter Eric Milton, tying the Reds record set by Tom Browning in 1988.
Milton allowed six hits in eight innings, striking out seven and walking one.
"Eric Milton just did a great job for us, gave us a chance to win the ballgame," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "He didn't deserve to lose that game."
Pinch-hitter Jacob Cruz got things started for Cincinnati in the ninth, drawing a one-out walk from Mesa. After Lopez struck out, Aurilia delivered his second hit of the game.
"Aurilia's been one of our best hitters all year with two out and runners in scoring position. And he did it again for us," said Narron, whose team stranded 14 runners -- seven in scoring position.
Sean Casey led off the 10th with a single to right, and Austin Kearns followed with a walk. Javier Valentin then loaded the bases on a strange play that saw Mesa balk but continue to the plate with a pitch that Valentin bunted toward third base. Mesa didn't pursue the ball because of the balk call, and second baseman Freddie Sanchez didn't cover first when third baseman Ty Wigginton fielded the ball.
"You've got everything going on there and all of a sudden you hear, 'Balk,"' Sanchez said. "You have to be smarter than that. I have to know that play still goes on. At the same time, I just froze. I know I wasn't at first where I should have been."
Said first baseman Daryle Ward, "We didn't think Mesa was going to deliver the ball and he did. It was bunted and everybody just kind of froze. That play hurt us.
"It's hard to go through the rule book in your head. They told us after the play that the play is still alive as long as the ball is pitched and he hits it. At that time, you don't know that. It's one of those mistakes you have to try to not let happen again."
After Encarnacion was plunked to give the Reds their first lead, Mesa struck out Ray Olmedo. But Lopez's fly ball to center scored Kearns, and Pena's single to left scored Valentin.
Pittsburgh starter Josh Fogg allowed four hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked four, hit one and struck out two, throwing 101 pitches.
"It was a lot of pitches in a short amount of time," McClendon said. "He did a nice job."
Milton pitched out of trouble in the sixth after consecutive one-out singles by Doumit and Wigginton put runners at first and third. Milton got Michael Restovich to fly to shallow right and Jack Wilson to pop out to first base.
"I felt good, and we persevered," Milton said.
Ken Griffey Jr., who homered twice Friday, extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a first-inning single off the right-field wall.
The start of the game was delayed 70 minutes by the threat of rain ... Pittsburgh's Oliver Perez (toe), making his second rehab start at Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday, allowed seven runs and did not make it out of the second inning ... Sanchez got his first career stolen base in the third when he was picked off first base but beat Casey's throw to second ... It was the third extra-inning game for Cincinnati this season and first on the road.