CINCINNATI -- Shhh!
Hardly anyone showed up to see Cincinnati pull off its first doubleheader sweep in 10 years. The two smallest crowds in Great American Ball Park's history saw the Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 and 6-3 on Monday in games played with tennis-match silence much of the time.
Brandon Phillips hit a homer and had another overturned after a review in the second game, which drew the smallest gate in the ballpark's seven-year history. Only 9,087 tickets were sold for the game.
The opener was far, far worse.
Fewer than 2,000 fans showed up for the start of the day-night doubleheader, turning the ballpark into a red-seat echo chamber. Fans could hear the players' banter. Players could hear the fans' chatter. It didn't take long to take a head count.
• Game 1: Reds 4, Pirates 3
The opener ended when Darnell McDonald scored on a wild pitch by Jesse Chavez (0-4) with two outs in the ninth. Nick Masset (5-1) picked up the victory with one inning in relief on an eerie afternoon.
The second game featured the first reversal in the ballpark's history -- Phillips' drive down the left-field line off Paul Maholm (7-8) was originally ruled a solo homer by third base umpire Dan Iassogna. Replays showed it veered foul, and the call was reversed -- the only thing that went right for Pittsburgh all day.
"I was sure it was foul," Phillips said, "but then when I rounded second and saw them signal home run I was like, 'Yeah, I like this.' Then I remembered they have instant replay."
Johnny Cueto (9-10) returned from a stint on the disabled list because of a sore shoulder and got his first victory since July 1, snapping a streak of six consecutive losing decisions.
Pittsburgh hadn't been swept in a doubleheader in Cincinnati since July 9, 1976, when the Big Red Machine was on its way to a second straight World Series championship.
The losses left Pittsburgh only five shy of becoming the first major American professional team to string together 17 losing seasons in a row. The Reds are nine losses away from clinching their ninth consecutive losing season, their longest stretch of futility since the 1950s.
The Pirates optioned INF Brian Bixler to Triple-A and assigned RHP John Meloan outright to the minors. ... The Reds are 6-4 against the Pirates this season. ... Cincinnati put OF Laynce Nix on the DL between games with a bulging disk in his neck.