Reds 5, Pirates 3

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CINCINNATI (AP)—Pinch-hitter Austin Kearns had a tying two-run single and Felipe Lopez delivered the go-ahead hit as the Cincinnati Reds came from behind Sunday to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3.

Jason LaRue homered and Rich Aurilia added an RBI single in a five-run seventh inning that gave the Reds back-to-back wins for the first time since a four-game winning streak from Aug 25-28.

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.

Rick White relieved Grabow and, after hitting Ryan Freel, gave up consecutive run-scoring singles by Lopez and Aurilia. Mike Gonzalez came on for the Pirates to end the outburst.

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.

Matt Belisle (4-7) earned the win in relief of Brandon Claussen. David Weathers pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 15 tries.

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.

The Pirates took the lead in the fourth. Brad Eldred had a two-out bloop single to center field and stole second before Ty Wigginton’s double off the left-field wall.

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.

Notes

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.

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