Cincinnati at Pittsburgh

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Cincinnati (61-72) «3000221008150
Pittsburgh (59-73)000000000021

Reds' Harang throws two-hit shutout against Pirates

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- Through the first 28 days of August, the Pittsburgh Pirates were the highest-scoring team in baseball.

Cincinnati's Aaron Harang made them look helpless.

Harang threw a two-hitter for his fourth career shutout, Ken Griffey Jr., and Brandon Phillips homered and the Reds beat the Pirates 8-0 on Wednesday night.

"I said it before, and I'll say it again he's just a pleasure to watch," Reds manager Pete Mackanin said. "He just was in complete control throughout the entire game. He had everything in his arsenal, threw strikes, changed speeds, up and in, low and away. There's not a whole lot more to say."

Alex Gonzalez and Javier Valentin had three hits and Phillips, Scott Hatteberg and Edwin Encarnacion each had two for Cincinnati, which had won six straight before getting swept in a doubleheader by the Pirates on Tuesday.

Harang (14-3), who pitched at least eight innings in a game for the ninth time this season, walked one and struck out eight in improving to 11-3 lifetime against the Pirates. It was his 10th career complete game, and his first shutout since June 23, 2006, at Cleveland.

"I tried to throw strikes and get ahead early," Harang said. "I wanted to keep them off-balance and make them swing at my pitches and the guys were there to back me up with defense and run support early. We got a good amount of runs and I didn't have to stress too much."

The Pirates, who had won six of seven coming in, had tied the team record for most home runs in a month with 43. But Harang shut them down, facing just two batters more than the minimum and limiting Pittsburgh to three baserunners.

"I think you really need to give credit where credit's due," Pittsburgh manager Jim Tracy said. "Aaron Harang was terrific tonight -- that goes without saying.

"With what we have been doing offensively over the course of the month of August, for the guy to go out there and completely shut you down in the manner in which he did, I think you have to tip your cap and give him an awful lot of credit."

The first four batters of the game reached against Pirates starter Ian Snell -- including Griffey, whose three-run shot to right scored Josh Hamilton and Gonzalez. It was the 592nd homer of Griffey's career and 29th of the season.

The Reds made it 5-0 in the fifth when Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly to score Hamilton and Phillips hit his home run to center. An inning later Hamilton drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Gonzalez singled in Hatteberg.

Snell (8-11), who has lost six of his last seven decisions, gave up seven runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out four.

After the game, Snell said he had been bothered by a brief clubhouse confrontation he and fellow Pirates pitcher Shawn Chacon had about three hours before the game. Though the argument appeared minor and lasted only a few seconds, Snell said it was running through his head while he was on the mound.

"It kind of got to me," he said. "I shouldn't have let it get to me but it did. It's kind of immaturish to carry that out on the field. I let the team down. I didn't perform like I should have performed. It was uncalled for on my part."

Chacon declined to comment on the incident.

It might not have mattered how well Snell pitched, however, the way Harang was cruising.

"When Harang pitches, he keeps us in the game," Phillips said. "He throws strikes, so you have to be alert. ... Everybody on defense is ready. All we've got to do is get one run for him because he's one of those type of pitchers."

Notes

  • A pitch from Shane Youman grazed Harang in the forearm in the seventh inning.
  • Phillips has at least two hits in each of his past six games. The last Cincinnati player to do that was Todd Walker from Sept. 4-10, 2002.
  • Snell is the 377th pitcher against which Griffey has homered.
  • Thanks to Jason Bay's double, Pittsburgh kept alive a club-record streak of 88 consecutive games with at least one extra-base hit.
 
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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Reds righty Aaron Harang improves to 11-3 lifetime against the Pirates.  (AP)
Reds righty Aaron Harang improves to 11-3 lifetime against the Pirates. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

A. Harang
IP 9.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 1
K 8
Cincinnati

A. Gonzalez
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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Cincinnati Reds
Josh Hamilton, CF3211104 .285
Alex Gonzalez, SS4132010 .269
Ken Griffey Jr., RF4113102 .283
Brandon Phillips, 2B5121012 .287
Adam Dunn, LF4110010 .263
    Jason Ellison, LF1000010 .222
Javier Valentin, C5131002 .296
Scott Hatteberg, 1B5120000 .304
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B5020003 .279
Aaron Harang, P3000024 .117
Totals39815826  
Batting
2B - Javier Valentin (16, Youman), Edwin Encarnacion (18, Snell)
HR - Ken Griffey Jr. (29, Snell), Brandon Phillips (26, Snell)
SF - Josh Hamilton (2), Alex Gonzalez (2)
RBI - Josh Hamilton (41), Alex Gonzalez 2 (53), Ken Griffey Jr. 3 (85), Brandon Phillips (79), Javier Valentin (30)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Gonzalez (22), Brandon Phillips (32)
CS - Brandon Phillips (8, 2nd base by Snell/Paulino)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - A. Gonzalez-B. Phillips-Hatteberg
Cincinnati Reds
Aaron Harang (W,14-3) 9200180 3.51
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Harang 93-69
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Harang 6-12
Batters Faced - Aaron Harang 29
Pittsburgh Pirates
Nate McLouth, CF3000111 .244
Jose Bautista, 3B4000022 .259
Freddy Sanchez, 2B2000011 .311
   a- Jose Castillo, PH-2B1000000 .244
Adam LaRoche, 1B3000011 .265
    Romulo Sanchez, P0000000 .000
Xavier Nady, RF3000000 .291
Jason Bay, LF3010000 .256
Ronny Paulino, C3000011 .247
Cesar Izturis, SS2000011 .249
    Shane Youman, P0000000 .091
    Josh Phelps, 1B1000010 .326
Ian Snell, P1000000 .091
    Matt Kata, SS2010000 .220
Totals2802018  
a-grounded out for F. Sanchez in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jason Bay (23, Harang)
SB - Nate McLouth (14, 2nd base off Harang/Valentin)
Team LOB - 2
Fielding
DP - Paulino-Izturis
E - Jose Bautista (14, Throwing)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Ian Snell (L,8-11) 5.11077242 4.17
Shane Youman 1.2411000 5.59
Romulo Sanchez 2100020 0.00
HBP - Harang (by Shane Youman)
Pitches-Strikes - Ian Snell 87-59, Shane Youman 30-19, Romulo Sanchez 25-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ian Snell 5-6, Shane Youman 1-4, Romulo Sanchez 2-2
Batters Faced - Ian Snell 27, Shane Youman 10, Romulo Sanchez 7
Game Information
Attendance - 14191
Game Time - 2:28
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Chris Guccione, First Base - John Hirschbeck, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Mike DiMuro