Pittsburgh at Cincinnati

W: Z. Duke (1-0) L: E. Milton (0-1)
S: S. Torres (4)
HR: PIT - J. Wilson (1), B. Eldred (1), J. Bay (2)   CIN - None

Pirates 6, Reds 3

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

CINCINNATI -- Freddy Sanchez certainly looked comfortable at the plate, even if he felt a little rusty.

The 2006 NL batting champion had two hits and an RBI in his first game since coming off the disabled list, and Zach Duke pitched the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.

"I'm still trying to work out the kinks," said Sanchez, who flied out to center on the first pitch of the game. "It felt good to get back out there. I was a little antsy."

Jason Bay, Jack Wilson and Brad Eldred homered to help the Pirates avoid their first three-game sweep in Cincinnati since September 1998. Wilson hit a two-run shot, while Eldred connected for the first time since 2005 and drove in two runs.

Zach Duke (1-0) pitched six shutout innings before giving up three runs and getting chased in the seventh without getting an out. He allowed six hits overall, struck out five and didn't walk a batter.

Salomon Torres pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save in four tries.

Sanchez, who batted .344 last year, opened this season on the DL with a sprained right knee. He led off the fifth inning with a single to left for his first hit and Wilson followed with his first homer, a line drive down the left-field line.

Eric Milton (0-1), who wasn't even on the active roster when he was booed during pregame introductions on opening day, fell to 16-24 with the Reds. He is in the final year of the $25.5 million, three-year contract he signed as a free agent in December 2004.

Milton, making his first start after opening the season on the disabled list with lower back spasms, allowed 10 hits and four runs with one walk and six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

"There were a few positives, but the end result wasn't what we wanted," Milton said. "Everything was fine. I haven't pitched in a while, but that had no bearing on the way things worked out."

Eldred, who spent part of last year with Triple-A Indianapolis after breaking his thumb early in the season, snapped a scoreless tie in the fourth by driving in Xavier Nady from first with a double to left field.

The Pirates knocked Milton out of the game in the sixth with a one-out double by Jose Bautista and a two-out RBI double by Sanchez, who is hitting .647 (11-for-17) in his career against Milton.

"Numbers are just numbers," Sanchez said. "This is the big leagues. Everybody's good. I don't know what I hit against him before. It just felt good to get back out there, no matter who was on the mound."

Pirates manager Jim Tracy batted Sanchez leadoff in order to get him as many at-bats as possible. Sanchez hit third most of last season and leadoff just once.

"Sanchez was missed," Tracy said. "He can flat hit."

Milton fell to 1-5 in 11 career appearances against Pittsburgh.

"He threw off-speed pitches down in the zone," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "If you can do that and not give in when you're behind in the count, you have a chance to be successful."

The Reds got to Duke in the seventh on Ken Griffey Jr.'s two-run single and pinch-hitter Juan Castro's run-scoring double.

Eldred added his one-out solo homer in the eighth off Todd Coffey, snapping a streak of 14 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings by Cincinnati's bullpen. Eldred's homer was his first since he hit 12 for the Pirates in 2005.

"It felt pretty good," said Eldred, who was playing his first game of the season. "There wasn't much of a difference after the first at-bat. I wasn't as aggressive as I wanted to be. I took a pitch I should have swung at."


Griffey moved into 21st place on the career RBI list with 1,610, passing Goose Goslin, who had 1,609. ... The Reds made room for Milton on the 25-man roster by placing rookie RHP Jared Burton on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. A team spokesman said Burton was hurt running in the outfield before Saturday's game. ... Pittsburgh RHP Matt Capps' eighth-inning infield single was his first career hit. ... Reds CF Ryan Freel was caught stealing for the first time after being successful on his first four attempts. ... The gametime temperature of 37 degrees left the Reds with five consecutive games that started with the temperature below 40.

Copyright 2017 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

B. Eldred
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

A. Dunn
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

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Jack Wilson, SS5122003 .346
Jason Bay, LF4121110 .240
Adam LaRoche, 1B5000032 .125
Ronny Paulino, C5010002 .174
Xavier Nady, CF-RF5120011 .304
Brad Eldred, RF4122011 .500
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Jose Bautista, 3B4110002 .333
Zach Duke, P3000033 .200
    Jonah Bayliss, P0000000 .000
    Juan Perez, P0000000 .000
    Matt Capps, P10100001.000
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .000
2B - Freddy Sanchez (1, Milton), Brad Eldred (1, Milton), Jose Bautista (4, Milton)
HR - Jack Wilson (1, Milton), Jason Bay (2, Coutlangus), Brad Eldred (1, Coffey)
RBI - Freddy Sanchez (1), Jack Wilson 2 (2), Jason Bay (3), Brad Eldred 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Freddy Sanchez (1)
Team LOB - 9
Pittsburgh Pirates
Zach Duke (W,1-0) 6633050 3.46
Jonah Bayliss (H,1) 0.2000010 0.00
Juan Perez0100000 0.00
Matt Capps (H,3) 1.1100010 0.00
Salomon Torres (S,4) 1000000 2.25
Pitches-Strikes - Zach Duke 88-54, Jonah Bayliss 9-6, Juan Perez 2-2, Matt Capps 14-12, Salomon Torres 7-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zach Duke 8-4, Jonah Bayliss 1-0, Matt Capps 1-2, Salomon Torres 2-1
Batters Faced - Zach Duke 23, Jonah Bayliss 2, Juan Perez 1, Matt Capps 5, Salomon Torres 3
Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Freel, CF4010010 .273
Brandon Phillips, 2B4000010 .136
Adam Dunn, LF4120020 .381
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B4110011 .350
Ken Griffey Jr., RF4112000 .250
Jeff Conine, 1B4010011 .357
Alex Gonzalez, SS4010001 .350
David Ross, C2000011 .083
    Victor Santos, P0000000 .000
   a- Scott Hatteberg, PH0000000 .273
   b- Juan Castro, PH1011000 .500
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
    Jon Coutlangus, P0000000 .000
Eric Milton, P1000000 .000
    Chad Moeller, C1000000 .000
   c- Javier Valentin, PH-C1000001 .125
a-announced for Santos in the 7th
b-doubled for Hatteberg in the 7th
c-flied out for Moeller in the 7th
2B - Adam Dunn (1, Capps), Edwin Encarnacion (1, Duke), Juan Castro (1, J. Perez)
RBI - Ken Griffey Jr. 2 (2), Juan Castro (1)
2-OUT RBI - Juan Castro (1)
CS - Ryan Freel (1, 2nd base by Duke/Paulino)
Team LOB - 4
E - Alex Gonzalez (1, Missed catch of throw)
Cincinnati Reds
Eric Milton (L,0-1) 5.21044161 6.35
Victor Santos 1.1000010 0.00
Todd Coffey 1211011 3.00
Jon Coutlangus 1111011 5.40
HBP - F. Sanchez (by Todd Coffey)
Pitches-Strikes - Eric Milton 95-69, Victor Santos 20-11, Todd Coffey 25-16, Jon Coutlangus 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Eric Milton 4-7, Victor Santos 2-1
Batters Faced - Eric Milton 28, Victor Santos 4, Todd Coffey 6, Jon Coutlangus 4
Game Information
Attendance - 14001
Game Time - 2:37
Temperature - 38
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - James Hoye, Second Base - Mike Reilly, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg