Pirates 7, Reds 5, 11 innings
CINCINNATI (AP)—Matt Stairs had an RBI double in the 11th inning, and the trade-decimated Pittsburgh Pirates completed another sweep at Great American Ball Park by beating the Cincinnati Reds 7-5 on Thursday.
The Pirates have gone 4-1 in the last five days while trading away their top two relievers and two regulars in three separate deals.
Stairs hit a ninth-inning homer Wednesday night as the Pirates won the opener of the two-game series, and had a pair of run-scoring doubles to complete a sweep of fast-fading Cincinnati.
The Pirates opened Great American with a three-game sweep from March 31-April 3. They’re 5-0 at the ballpark, the first time they’ve won five consecutive games in Cincinnati since 1991.
The Reds have played themselves out of contention since the All-Star break, going 1-7 on a homestand to fall a season-high 13 games under .500.
Pittsburgh blew three leads with shoddy plays, the last one when Stairs dove for Aaron Boone’s sinking liner in right field with two outs in the eighth and let it get past him for an RBI triple that tied it at 5.
Boone’s throwing error at shortstop—the 97th this season by Cincinnati, most in the majors—set up the winning rally off Chris Reitsma (7-3). Stairs’ double put Pittsburgh ahead, and Jose Hernandez had a sacrifice fly off Ryan Wagner.
Mike Lincoln (1-0) pitched the last two innings to get the victory, one day after he saved the series opener.
Pirates right-hander Jeff D’Amico blew two leads during his six innings, but turned a 5-4 lead over to the bullpen. He gave up four runs—only one earned— and had an RBI double as well.
Pittsburgh got ahead 3-0 as Brian Giles hit a sacrifice fly in the first, Stairs doubled home a run in the third and D’Amico had an RBI double in the fourth off Jimmy Haynes, who lost the season opener against Pittsburgh and has only two wins.
The Pirates’ rough-and-tumble defense let the lead slip away. Hernandez, acquired in a trade with the Cubs, threw away Jose Guillen’s grounder to third for an error that opened the Reds fourth.
With the bases loaded, Jason LaRue hit a popup into shallow left, and shortstop Jack Wilson and left fielder Reggie Sanders both called for the ball. Neither one backed off, and Wilson got knocked to the ground after he made the catch, allowing Guillen to tag up and score easily.
Juan Castro’s sacrifice fly and Haynes’ RBI single completed the rally and tied it at 3.
Giles doubled home another run in the fifth, but D’Amico gave up Russell Branyan’s fourth homer to start the bottom of the inning. Haynes’ wild pitch let Jeff Reboulet score from third to put the Pirates ahead 5-4 in the sixth.
Wilson left the game in the fifth after straining his groin while getting toGuillen’s single in the hole.
RHP Brandon Lyon, acquired from Boston in the trade for Scott Sauerbeck, remained in Pittsburgh on Thursday for more medical tests. General manager Dave Littlefield declined to specify the Pirates’ concerns. … SS Barry Larkin was out of the Reds lineup, getting a planned day of rest. He left Wednesday night’s game with cramps in his right hamstring. He pinch-hit andgrounded out.