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Cincinnati at Pittsburgh

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Cincinnati (12-13) «0015201009130
Pittsburgh (11-12)0310000015100

Encarnacion's triple keys Reds comeback over Pirates

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- Aaron Harang doesn't always need a lot of run support to win games. So he was more than grateful that, on a day he wasn't at his best, the Cincinnati Reds' offense certainly was.

Edwin Encarnacion's bases-loaded triple keyed Cincinnati's comeback from an early three-run deficit, and Harang settled down to maintain his dominance of the Pittsburgh Pirates as the Reds won 9-5 Sunday.

Adam Dunn added a two-run homer and Brandon Phillips drove in two runs as the Reds, losers of seven of nine following a 3-1 defeat Friday, bounced back to win the final two games of the series.

After his team was shut out until the ninth inning of a 3-1 loss Friday, manager Jerry Narron predicted his club was ready to come out of its offensive slump. The Reds produced 17 runs and 25 hits in their last two games, including an 8-1 victory Saturday night.

"Everybody is swinging the bat good, we've got a lot of discipline at the plate, we're swinging at pitches in the strike zone and that's how we can be better with the bat," said Encarnacion, who raised his average from .174 to .221 in two days. "If we keep throwing like that and keep hitting, we're going to win a lot of games."

Harang (4-0) benefited from the offensive support, helping himself with a run-scoring single in a five-run fourth that turned a 4-1 Reds deficit into a 6-4 lead.

"You get him down and have a chance to take him out and you let him get back up -- you give a horse like him a second wind, like we did, you're not going to get another chance," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said.

The Pirates have scored nine runs in two games against Harang this season, but still can't consistently beat him. The right-hander, 2-0 on the road this season after leading the NL with nine road victories last year, is 10-3 in his career against Pittsburgh.

Harang lasted eight-plus innings, giving up 10 hits, walking four and throwing three wild pitches. Last year's NL strikeout leader fanned nine and has 36 K's in six starts.

"I was able to go out there after the second inning and just be effective and keep my pitches down and move the ball around in the zone," Harang said. "I wasn't trying to overpower them, just keep the ball in play."

Or exactly what Pirates starter Paul Maholm (1-3) didn't do.

Maholm, coming off a three-hit shutout of the Astros on Tuesday that was easily the best start of his three-season career, gave up six runs and seven hits in four innings.

"It was one of those things where the game started going too fast and I didn't slow it down," Maholm said. "My breaking ball wasn't good and when I got behind, I had to throw fastballs and that's a disaster plan. Whenever it's going bad, it kind of spirals out of control."

Maholm's two-run single against Harang helped the Pirates open a 4-1 lead by the third, but they were shut out after that until Ryan Doumit hit a solo homer leading off the ninth that chased Harang. Doumit went 4-for-4 with an RBI double.

Maholm had control issues in the pivotal fourth inning, walking Alex Gonzalez and Adam Dunn ahead of Encarnacion's triple into the deepest part of the PNC Park outfield in left-center.

Dunn hit a two-run homer an inning later off Shawn Chacon for his sixth of the season, and Gonzalez hit his second of the year in the seventh, also off Chacon.

David Weathers got the final three outs for Cincinnati, but admittedly did so with a heavy heart -- he was friends with Josh Hancock, the Cardinals pitcher and former Reds reliever who died early Sunday in a car crash. Weathers and his family spent a half-hour with Hancock before a game last week in St. Louis.

"It's just a tough day," Weathers said. "You can't get it out of your mind. Sometimes I see his picture up there (on TV), and it's so unreal. ... He's 29 years old, the kid's got his whole life ahead of him and for this to happen ... it truly is tragic."

There was a moment of silence before the game for Hancock, who pitched for the Reds in 2004 and 2005.

Notes

Reds OF Ken Griffey Jr. did not start any of the three games in the series because of a chest problem. ... The Pirates won the first four games of their current nine-game homestand, but dropped the last two and are 4-6 at PNC Park. ... The Pirates are 11-12 in April and must beat the Cubs on Monday to avoid their fifth consecutive April without a winning record. ... Encarnacion is 5-for-8 since stopping an 0-for-11 slide with two hits Saturday night. ... The Reds are 4-2 against the Pirates this season. ... Harang also beat the Pirates 7-5 on April 7, despite lasting only 5 2/3 innings. ... A fan made a one-handed grab of Josh Hamilton's bat when it sailed into the crowd during the ninth.

 
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

R. Doumit
AB 4
R 2
H 4
HR 1
RBI 2
Cincinnati

E. Encarnacion
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 3
 
Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Freel, CF5110004 .262
Brandon Phillips, 2B5032011 .263
Josh Hamilton, RF5000024 .266
Jeff Conine, 1B5110001 .292
Alex Gonzalez, SS3321110 .329
Adam Dunn, LF3212100 .261
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B4133000 .221
David Ross, C4110002 .179
Aaron Harang, P3011012 .154
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
Totals37913925  
Batting
2B - Brandon Phillips (3, Maholm)
3B - Edwin Encarnacion (1, Maholm)
HR - Alex Gonzalez (3, Chacon), Adam Dunn (6, Chacon)
SH - Aaron Harang (3)
RBI - Brandon Phillips 2 (16), Alex Gonzalez (10), Adam Dunn 2 (12), Edwin Encarnacion 3 (10), Aaron Harang (2)
2-OUT RBI - Brandon Phillips 2 (7), Alex Gonzalez (3)
CS - Ryan Freel (4, 2nd base by Chacon/Doumit)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Ross-A. Gonzalez, A. Gonzalez-Conine, A. Gonzalez-B. Phillips-Conine
Cincinnati Reds
Aaron Harang (W,4-0) 81055191 4.23
David Weathers 1000020 2.70
WP - Aaron Harang 3 (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Harang 105-78, David Weathers 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Harang 5-8, David Weathers 1-0
Batters Faced - Aaron Harang 33, David Weathers 3
Pittsburgh Pirates
Chris Duffy, CF3000100 .276
Jack Wilson, SS4010012 .292
Freddy Sanchez, 2B4000022 .206
Jason Bay, LF4220011 .281
Adam LaRoche, 1B4000023 .125
Ryan Doumit, C4242000 .429
Brad Eldred, RF4000034 .147
Jose Bautista, 3B4121001 .300
Paul Maholm, P1012000 .200
   a- Don Kelly, PH1000001 .143
    Shawn Chacon, P0000000 .000
   b- Nate McLouth, PH1000010 .261
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
    Matt Capps, P00000001.000
   c- Xavier Nady, PH1000010 .262
Totals355105111  
a-grounded into a double play for Maholm in the 4th
b-struck out for Chacon in the 7th
c-struck out for Capps in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jason Bay (6, Harang), Ryan Doumit (2, Harang), Jose Bautista (10, Harang)
HR - Ryan Doumit (1, Harang)
RBI - Ryan Doumit 2 (4), Jose Bautista (6), Paul Maholm 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Doumit (3), Jose Bautista (1), Paul Maholm 2 (2)
CS - Jack Wilson (1, 2nd base by Harang/Ross)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Doumit-F. Sanchez, J. Wilson-F. Sanchez-LaRoche
PB - Ryan Doumit (1)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Paul Maholm (L,1-3) 4766220 5.28
Shawn Chacon 3433022 3.60
John Grabow 1100000 0.00
Matt Capps 1100010 0.68
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 53-32, Shawn Chacon 32-21, John Grabow 19-11, Matt Capps 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 6-4, Shawn Chacon 2-4, John Grabow 2-1, Matt Capps 1-0
Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 21, Shawn Chacon 12, John Grabow 4, Matt Capps 3
Game Information
Attendance - 18409
Game Time - 2:18
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - Mike Muchlinski, First Base - Wally Bell, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Bill Welke