LaRue broke up rookie Paul Maholm’s shutout bid by hitting the first pitch of the seventh inning into the right-field bleachers for his 12th home run. After Edwin Encarnacion walked, John Grabow (2-3) entered and gave up Chris Denorfia’s double and Kearns’ two-run single to tie it at 3.
Maholm, in his third major league start, limited the Reds to two runs on five hits and three walks with four strikeouts in six-plus innings. He allowed just one runner past second base in the first six innings.
Claussen gave up only one run despite allowing baserunners in each of his six innings. He gave up five hits and four walks with three strikeouts in his third opportunity to become Cincinnati’s first 10-game winner of the season. He is 0-2 in his last three starts after five consecutive wins.
Pittsburgh padded the lead in the seventh. Maholm drew a leadoff walk from Belisle and moved to second on Nate McLouth’s single. McLouth was erased on Jack Wilson’s fielder’s choice, but Jason Bay drove in both runners with a double to the center-field warning track.
Bay’s steal of second in the fifth inning was his 19th stolen base in 19 tries, two short of the NL record for most stolen bases without being caught. New York’s Kevin McReynolds went 21-for-21 in 1988. … Wigginton has 12 RBIs in 15 games since being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. … McLouth’s steal of second base in the third inning and Eldred’s steal of second in the fourth were the first stolen bases of their careers. … Denorfia got his first start in the majors. … Kent Mercker’s appearance was his 71st of the season for the Reds, tying the career high he set last season with the Cubs.