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Cincinnati at Pittsburgh

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Cincinnati (89-67) «52000003111160
Pittsburgh (89-67)001020000352

Reds clobber Pirates in rubber game, tie for WC lead

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- Billy Hamilton remains perfect on the basepaths. The Cincinnati Reds remain perfect with their speedy rookie outfielder in the starting lineup.

The combination could prove potent during the final week of the regular season, and maybe beyond.

Hamilton got three hits and stole two more bases and the Reds routed Pittsburgh 11-3 Sunday to tie the Pirates for the NL wild-card lead. Batting right behind Hamilton, Chris Heisey had three hits and two RBI as the Reds won two of three to pull even with the scuffling Pirates.

"Those guys set up some big innings," Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said. "You need guys in your lineup to drive in runs but it's just as important to have guys to get on base so they can be driven in."

The Reds and Pirates each have magic numbers of two to close out Washington and clinch a playoff spot. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh trail NL Central leader St. Louis by 2 1/2 games, pending the Cardinals' night game at Milwaukee.

Jay Bruce hit a three-run double and Todd Frazier followed with a homer that capped a five-run burst in the first inning. Bronson Arroyo (14-11) made it stand up, lasting five innings to win for the first time in nearly a month. The Reds won for the fifth time in six games to head home for a season-ending six-game homestand with some serious momentum.

"We knew it was an important series, they knew it was an important and our guys responded and jumped them early in this one," Baker said. "It was a good win for us, an important win."

Neil Walker hit his 13th homer of the season, but Pittsburgh stumbled in its home finale. The Pirates have lost five of seven and will have to clinch its first postseason berth in 21 years on the road. Pittsburgh begins a six-game road trip on Monday in Chicago against the Cubs.

"Today we dug ourselves a little bit of a hole early and they never let up, kept their foot on the gas pedal," Walker said. "We have to continue to play good baseball and things will go our way."

They're certainly going Hamilton's way at the moment. His presence has given the Reds a needed late-season jolt. He was at it again on Sunday, easily taking second base in the second inning and doing it again in the sixth. Hamilton is 12 for 12 on swipe tries since his late-season promotion from Triple-A and is 6 for 14 and has scored nine times as a major leaguer.

Bruce had four RBIs and Chris Heisey added three hits while driving in two runs.

Jeff Locke (10-7) was tagged in the first inning and didn't come out for the second.

After morphing from fifth starter to improbable All-Star, Locke fell to 2-5 with a 6.12 ERA in the second half of the season. Locke's next turn in the rotation is scheduled for Saturday in Cincinnati, but an off-day on Thursday gives the Pirates some flexibility with their rotation for a series that could have serious playoff implications.

After Bruce doubled to the gap in left-center field, Frazier followed with his 18th homer, a two-run shot to the deepest part of PNC Park.

"Everything happened pretty fast," Locke said. "A hit a few walks, a big hit by Bruce, and the homer by Frazier and before you know it Arroyo was my last hitter. I think you try to avoid the big inning and unfortunately the big inning was the first inning."

Cincinnati pushed its advantage to 7-0 in the second on an RBI double by Heisey and a sacrifice fly from Brandon Phillips off reliever Jeanmar Gomez.

Staked to such a huge cushion, Arroyo worked quickly if not exactly effectively. Walker hit his third homer in four games leading off the third and pinch-hitter Travis Snider did the same in the fifth.

Pittsburgh's best chance to make it close came later in that inning when Walker's double put runners in scoring position with no outs. Arroyo surrendered only a sacrifice fly by Justin Morneau that made it 7-3. The veteran right-hander gave up three runs on five hits in five innings, walking two and striking out three.

Notes

Pirates C Russell Martin left the game in the fifth with soreness in his left knee ... Cincinnati pitchers struck out six to lift their season total to 1,249, a club record ... Baker said RHP Johnny Cueto will have a 100-pitch limit when he starts on Monday against the Mets. Cueto missed more than two months with a strained right lat before returning to pitch five scoreless innings last week against Houston ... Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said Jason Grilli is back as the full-time closer. Grilli picked up his first save since July 21 when he recorded the final three outs of a 4-2 win over the Reds on Saturday night. Grilli missed more than six weeks with a strained right forearm ... A sellout crowd of 38,699 showed up for the final regular season game at PNC Park. The 23 sellouts this season are the second-highest total in the team's 126-year history, as is the total attendance of 2.26 million.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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The Reds bats come to life Sunday in Pittsburgh in a big win for Cincy's playoff hopes.  (USATSI)
The Reds bats come to life Sunday in Pittsburgh in a big win for Cincy's playoff hopes. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

C. Heisey
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
Pittsburgh

N. Walker
AB 2
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Billy Hamilton, CF6230001 .429
Chris Heisey, LF5332003 .234
   Manny Parra, P0000000 .500
   a-Neftali Soto, PH1000001 .000
   Logan Ondrusek, P0000000 .000
Joey Votto, 1B4221111 .308
Brandon Phillips, 2B3121101 .262
Jay Bruce, RF5124012 .267
Todd Frazier, 3B5112004 .236
Zack Cozart, SS5120010 .256
Ryan Hanigan, C5000012 .195
Bronson Arroyo, P2000021 .070
   Alfredo Simon, P0000000 .143
   b-Derrick Robinson, PH-LF2011000 .245
Totals4311161126  
a-popped out for Parra in the 9th
b-grounded out for Simon in the 8th
Batting
2B - Billy Hamilton (2, Mazzaro), Chris Heisey (11, Gomez), Joey Votto (30, Mazzaro), Jay Bruce (42, Locke), Zack Cozart (28, Hughes)
HR - Todd Frazier (18, Locke)
SF - Brandon Phillips (9)
SH - Bronson Arroyo (16)
RBI - Chris Heisey 2 (23), Joey Votto (72), Brandon Phillips (102), Jay Bruce 4 (107), Todd Frazier 2 (72), Derrick Robinson (8)
2-OUT RBI - Chris Heisey (4), Joey Votto (21), Jay Bruce (27)
SB - Billy Hamilton 2 (12, 2nd base off Gomez/Martin)
Team LOB - 9
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Bronson Arroyo (W,14-11) 5533232 3.60
Alfredo Simon 2000100 3.00
Manny Parra 1000010 3.53
Logan Ondrusek 1000020 4.24
HBP - Tabata (by Bronson Arroyo)
Pitches-Strikes - Bronson Arroyo 92-62, Alfredo Simon 32-19, Manny Parra 8-6, Logan Ondrusek 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bronson Arroyo 6-6, Alfredo Simon 2-4
Batters Faced - Bronson Arroyo 23, Alfredo Simon 7, Manny Parra 3, Logan Ondrusek 3
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jose Tabata, LF3100012 .280
Neil Walker, 2B2121200 .253
Andrew McCutchen, CF4000004 .319
   Starling Marte, CF0000000 .279
Justin Morneau, 1B2001100 .259
Marlon Byrd, RF4000003 .285
   Josh Harrison, RF0000000 .244
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4010010 .229
Russell Martin, C2000011 .229
   John Buck, C2000010 .219
Clint Barmes, SS4010010 .215
Jeff Locke, P0000000 .106
   Jeanmar Gomez, P0000000 .077
   a-Andrew Lambo, PH1000012 .192
   Brandon Cumpton, P0000000 .000
   b-Travis Snider, PH1111000 .220
   Stolmy Pimentel, P0000000 .000
   c-Felix Pie, PH1000000 .167
   Vin Mazzaro, P0000000 .167
   Jared Hughes, P0000000 .000
   d-Garrett Jones, PH1000000 .234
Totals3135336  
a-struck out for Gomez in the 4th
b-homered for Cumpton in the 5th
c-flied out for Pimentel in the 7th
d-flied out for Hughes in the 9th
Batting
2B - Neil Walker (24, Arroyo)
HR - Neil Walker (13, Arroyo), Travis Snider (5, Arroyo)
SF - Justin Morneau (6)
RBI - Neil Walker (50), Justin Morneau (76), Travis Snider (25)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Clint Barmes 2 (13, Misplayed grounder)
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jeff Locke (L,10-7) 1355211 3.52
Jeanmar Gomez 1322000 3.20
Brandon Cumpton 3300030 2.45
Stolmy Pimentel 2000010 2.45
Vin Mazzaro 0.2333010 2.88
Jared Hughes 1.1411000 4.78
WP - Jeff Locke (8), Stolmy Pimentel (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Locke 27-15, Jeanmar Gomez 16-11, Brandon Cumpton 43-33, Stolmy Pimentel 25-16, Vin Mazzaro 16-11, Jared Hughes 30-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Locke 3-0, Jeanmar Gomez 1-2, Brandon Cumpton 3-3, Stolmy Pimentel 2-4, Vin Mazzaro 1-0, Jared Hughes 2-2
Batters Faced - Jeff Locke 9, Jeanmar Gomez 6, Brandon Cumpton 12, Stolmy Pimentel 7, Vin Mazzaro 5, Jared Hughes 8
Game Information
Attendance - 38699
Game Time - 3:13
Temperature - 61
Umpires - Home - Dan Iassogna, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Mark Carlson, Third Base - Gerry Davis