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Reds use two huge rallies to power win over Pirates

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- David Ross was happy to be back home.

The Cincinnati catcher snapped a 0-for-13 slump by going 3-for-4 with a home run and career-high five RBI as the Reds blew a six-run lead before pulling away for a 14-7 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night.

Ross went hitless on Cincinnati's six-game road trip after beating the St. Louis Cardinals 8-7 with a two-run walkoff home run on Aug. 9. He snapped out of it against Pittsburgh with a run-scoring single in a six-run first, his 15th homer of the season in the third and a three-run double in the Reds' seven-run seventh.

"I didn't sniff a hit on the road trip," said Ross, who shares Cincinnati's catching duties with Jason LaRue and Javier Valentin. "It's tough when you don't play every day. When you lose your rhythm, it's hard to get back on track. I came back and studied a lot of film. You can do that at home."

"David Ross has done a pretty good job all year," manager Jerry Narron said. "He struggled a little bit on the road, but he came through big for us tonight."

Brandon Phillips also homered as the Reds sent 10 batters to the plate in two separate innings and maintained their one-game lead in the National League wild card race. They also cut St. Louis' lead in the Central Division to 2½ games. The Cardinals lost to the Cubs 5-4 in 10 innings at Chicago Saturday afternoon.

The Pirates overcame a six-run Cincinnati first inning to tie the score at 7 in the seventh inning. The Reds responded with seven runs in the bottom of the inning off relievers Salomon Torres (3-6) and Matt Capps. Ross had a three-run double and Phillips a two-run homer.

Edwin Encarnacion and Rich Aurilia each hit two-run doubles in Cincinnati's six-run first inning. Ross and Phillips added run-scoring singles as Cincinnati set a season-high for first-inning runs.

"For some reason, that first inning again," said Maholm, who has allowed 28 first-inning runs, 27 earned, in 25 starts this season, including 16 in his last eight starts. Maholm's first-inning ERA now is 9.72. "After I got through that, I wanted to go four or five innings and save the bullpen."

The last time the Reds scored as many as six runs in the first inning was on Sept. 24, 2004, when they scored seven in the first of a 14-8 win at Pittsburgh.

The Reds scored six or more runs in two innings of the same game for the first time since exactly one year ago, when they scored six in the third and 10 in the fourth of a 17-3 win over Arizona.

"When you come up with a big lead like that, you have mixed feelings," said Ross, who hit his solo homer in the third. "In a way, you're so happy, but in a way, when they get a couple of runners on base, you're thinking, 'This would be the worst game to blow."'

The Pirates scored three runs in the third on Xavier Nady's two-run double and Ronny Paulino's RBI single. They cut the Reds lead to 7-6 and knocked Eric Milton out of the game with no one out in the fifth on Jason Bay's three-run homer, his 26th homer of the season.

Bay tied the game with a sacrifice fly in the seventh off Ryan Franklin (3-6), who got the win.

Milton allowed nine hits and six runs in four innings.

"I'm not down in the dumps because of the effort," Pittsburgh manager Jim Tracy said. "We kept chipping away and had some professional at bats. Maholm stepped up and bowed his neck. That gave us a chance to put together some professional at bats -- and we did."

Maholm gave up seven runs and 10 hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out seven.

Notes

  • Pirates 3B Freddy Sanchez, the league's leading hitter at .355, went 3-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games (21-for-41, .512).
  • Pirates RHP Britt Reames celebrated his 33rd birthday Saturday.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

J. Bay
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 4
Cincinnati

D. Ross
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 1
RBI 5
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
Jose Bautista, CF5010010 .247
Jack Wilson, SS5230000 .276
Freddy Sanchez, 3B4230102 .355
Jason Bay, LF3224001 .295
Xavier Nady, RF4112000 .276
    Matt Capps, P0000000 .000
    Britt Reames, P0000000 .000
Ronny Paulino, C4011011 .310
Jose Hernandez, 1B4010011 .267
Jose Castillo, 2B4010020 .272
Paul Maholm, P2000022 .133
   a- Rajai Davis, PH1000000 .000
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .250
    Jeromy Burnitz, RF1000010 .232
Totals377137187 
a-grounded out for Maholm in the 6th
Batting
2B - Freddy Sanchez (44, Franklin), Xavier Nady (20, Milton), Jose Castillo (21, Milton)
HR - Jason Bay (26, Milton)
SF - Jason Bay (8)
RBI - Jason Bay 4 (85), Xavier Nady 2 (49), Ronny Paulino (39)
2-OUT RBI - Xavier Nady 2 (16), Ronny Paulino (21)
CS - Xavier Nady (2, 2nd base by Franklin/Ross)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jose Bautista 2
DP - F. Sanchez-Castillo-Hernandez, J. Wilson-Hernandez
PB - Ronny Paulino (7)
E - Ronny Paulino (11, )
Pittsburgh Pirates
Paul Maholm 51077171 4.86
Salomon Torres (L,3-6) 1.1451210 4.06
Matt Capps 0.2222001 3.66
Britt Reames 1000000 3.38
IBB - Griffey by Salomon Torres, by Dunn
WP - Matt Capps (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 87-55, Salomon Torres 38-22, Matt Capps 17-11, Britt Reames 8-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 4-1, Salomon Torres 1-1
Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 23, Salomon Torres 9, Matt Capps 4, Britt Reames 3
Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Freel, RF-CF5230001 .288
Royce Clayton, SS5220020 .264
Ken Griffey Jr., CF3110122 .250
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
   a- Javier Valentin, PH1000000 .243
    Eddie Guardado, P0000000 .000
    Rheal Cormier, P0000000 .000
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B4223001 .299
Adam Dunn, LF2200220 .248
Rich Aurilia, 1B4112003 .277
David Ross, C4335010 .282
Brandon Phillips, 2B4133000 .291
Eric Milton, P2010010 .227
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
   b- Todd Hollandsworth, PH-RF2000000 .226
Totals36141613387 
a-flied out for Weathers in the 8th
b-grounded out for Franklin in the 7th
Batting
2B - Royce Clayton (26, Torres), Edwin Encarnacion 2 (26, Maholm, Torres), Rich Aurilia (20, Maholm), David Ross (11, Capps)
HR - David Ross (15, Maholm), Brandon Phillips (12, Capps)
RBI - Edwin Encarnacion 3 (63), Rich Aurilia 2 (48), David Ross 5 (40), Brandon Phillips 3 (60)
2-OUT RBI - David Ross 4 (15), Brandon Phillips 2 (20)
SB - Ryan Freel (28, 3rd base off Maholm/Paulino), Royce Clayton (13, 2nd base off Maholm/Paulino)
CS - Ryan Freel (9, 2nd base by Maholm/Paulino)
Team LOB - 1
Fielding
DP - Clayton-B. Phillips
Cincinnati Reds
Eric Milton 4966131 5.28
Todd Coffey 2000020 3.03
Ryan Franklin (BS,2; W,3-6) 1211000 4.48
David Weathers 1000020 4.37
Eddie Guardado 0.1100010 3.89
Rheal Cormier 0.2100000 1.98
Pitches-Strikes - Eric Milton 100-63, Todd Coffey 15-12, Ryan Franklin 13-10, David Weathers 10-7, Eddie Guardado 9-7, Rheal Cormier 6-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Eric Milton 4-5, Todd Coffey 4-0, Ryan Franklin 1-1
Batters Faced - Eric Milton 22, Todd Coffey 6, Ryan Franklin 4, David Weathers 3, Eddie Guardado 2, Rheal Cormier 2
Game Information
Attendance - 34245
Game Time - 2:55
Temperature - 90
Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Paul Emmel, Second Base - Bruce Froemming, Third Base - Brian Runge