Reds 3, Pirates 2

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CINCINNATI (AP)—D’Angelo Jimenez just missed a home run in his previous at-bat. On his second chance, he didn’t miss.

Jimenez hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning to give the Cincinnati Reds a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.

Ray Olmedo and Tim Hummel reached on bunt singles before Jimenez hit his sixth homer since coming to Cincinnati from the Chicago White Sox in July. Two innings earlier, he hit the same inside fastball from Pittsburgh starter Jeff D’Amico to the right field warning track for an out.

“I waited a little longer on it this time,” Jimenez said. “I didn’t try to do too much with it. The ball was flying. It felt pretty good.”

Pittsburgh manager Lloyd McClendon considered the inning and said, “It wasn’t pretty.”

Rookie Scott Randall (2-1) earned the victory with 1 2-3 innings of scoreless relief. Chris Reitsma pitched the ninth for his seventh save in his last eight opportunities, retiring Craig Wilson on a grounder for the last out with two men on base. The day before Reitsma allowed a two-run homer to Rob Mackowiak in Pittsburgh’s 3-2 win over the Reds.

“I just appreciate their faith in letting me go back out there,” said Reitsma, who had converted six consecutive opportunities before Wednesday. “You want to try to get back out there and get back on a positive track again.”

D’Amico (8-15) allowed six hits and three runs with four strikeouts in six innings. He lost for the fourth time in his last five decisions.

“I was cruising right along,” D’Amico said. “I had good stuff. I hadn’t given up too many hits. That obviously made it more frustrating.”

Pittsburgh took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, loading the bases with none out on Reggie Sanders’ broken-bat single to right, Wilson’s walk and Jason Bay’s bunt. Mackowiak struck out, but Jack Wilson drove in Sanders with a sacrifice fly.

Craig Wilson made it 2-0 in the fourth with his fourth homer of the series and 16th of the season, tying his career high. It was the eighth homer of his career against the Reds, the most he’s hit against any team, all of them in Cincinnati.

The Reds threatened in the second when Sean Casey led off with a single to right and moved to third on Russell Branyan’s double to right-center. But Branyan was called out for interfering with Jack Wilson as the shortstop was fielding Wily Mo Pena’s chopper. Ruben Mateo popped out to Craig Wilson at first base, and Corky Miller struck out.

After Jimenez’s homer, Pittsburgh had a chance to tie the game in the seventh. Sanders singled with one out and stole second and third. But when he tried to steal home, pitcher Phil Norton caught him.

“That’s what we work on in spring training,” Norton said. “I’m just glad I remembered how to do it.”

“I was trying anything to get something going,” McClendon said. “If it works, you look good. If it doesn’t, you look silly. They defensed it the rightway.”

Notes

Branyan has struck out at least once in 15 of his last 16 games. … Cincinnati starter Danny Serafini set a career high with seven strikeouts. … The next home run allowed by the Reds will tie the team record of 198, which was set in 2001. … Jimenez had one hit in his last 14 at-bats before his home run. … Olmedo’s single gave him six hits in his last 39 at-bats. … Hummel’s single gave him two hits in his last 21 at-bats. … The Reds used a differentlineup for the 22nd consecutive game and 121st overall this season.

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