Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical:
The SportsXchange

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Pirates had hit just three home runs in their first 11 2/3 games this season. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, they went deep three times in two innings.

Backup catcher Michael McKenry went deep twice, and Starling Marte's two-run home broke a tie and keyed a six-run eighth inning as the Pirates rallied for a 10-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday at PNC Park.

McKenry had the first two-homer game of his career.

His first homer, a straightway shot to center field to lead off the seventh, broke up Mat Latos' shutout bid and drew the Pirates within 5-1. That started a three-run inning that included consecutive run-scoring doubles by Travis Snider and Andrew McCutchen and a pinch-RBI single by Gaby Sanchez.

Pinch-hitter Jack Hannahan RBI single in top of the eighth pushed the Reds lead to 6-4 but the Pirates then erupted for six runs in the bottom half against Jonathan Broxton (0-1) to move in front 10-6.

McKenry hit a two-run home run to left to tie it. After pinch-hitter Jose Tabata walked, Marte hit a home run down the left-field foul line the Pirates ahead 8-6.

Gaby Sanchez drove in a run with a sacrifice fly before Neil Walker capped the inning with an RBI single for his third hit of the day.

Joey Votto hit a solo home run leading off the ninth off Mark Melancon to make it a three-run game but the Reds got no closer. It was the first baseman's first home run since last June 24.

The Pirates have scored 32 runs in their last six games while going 5-1 after scoring just eight runs in losing five of their first six.

The Pirates extended Cincinnati's losing streak to five games, the Reds' longest since Aug. 5-9. It was the Pirates' first sweep of the Reds since taking three games from April 16-18, 2010, in Pittsburgh.

The two home runs and six runs allowed by Broxton (0-1) tied career highs for the nine-year veteran.

Jared Hughes (1-0) got the win, giving up one run in one inning.

Snider hit two doubles and Marte and McCutchen also had two hits each for Pittsburgh.

Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips drove in three runs on a pair of singles a day after attending his grandfather's funeral.

Phillips was one of four Reds players with two hits along with Shin-Soo Choo, Todd Frazier and Chris Heisey. Choo has reached base in all 12 games this season, Frazier broke an 0-for-16 slump with a third-inning single and Heisey ended a string of 14 hitless at-bats with a single in the second.

Pirates starter Phil Irwin had a rough big-league debut after being recalled from Class AAA Indianapolis before the game to replace left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, who was unable to pitch after straining his left hamstring on Monday in a start at Arizona.

Irwin fell behind 4-0 early as Cincinnati scored twice in both the first and second innings. The Pirates' 21st-round draft pick from the University of Mississippi in 2009, Irwin was tagged for five runs - four earned - and six hits in 4 2/3 innings while walking four and striking out four.

Latos gave up three runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings with one walk and six strikeouts while extending his streak of starts without a loss to 10, dating to Aug. 29. In seven career starts against the Pirates, Latos has 48 strikeouts in 45 innings

After McKenry hit his leadoff homer in the seventh, Snider doubled off the top of the right-field wall to drive in a run. The double was upheld after a video reviewed and Latos was removed from the game while the umpires conferred.

McCutchen hit an RBI double off Logan Ondrusek, and Sanchez, who was pinch-hitting, singled in a run off Manny Parra to draw the Pirates within 5-4.

Cincinnati scored two runs before Irwin could get his first out. Choo singled and Zack Cozart and Votto walked to load the bases, then Phillips hit a two-run single to left. The Reds had been hitless in their previous 26 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

Choo hit an RBI double in the second and another run scored when Marte, the left fielder, bobbled the ball for error.

NOTES: Pittsburgh optioned infielder/outfielder Josh Harrison to Indianapolis to make room on the roster for Irwin. Harrison was 1-for-8 (.125) with one RBI in six games. ... Cincinnati right-hander Johnny Cueto flew back to Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon to be examined by team doctors after leaving Saturday night's game in the fifth inning with a strained triceps. The results of the examination aren't expected to be announced until Monday. ... Heisey was dropped from second to seventh in the batting order, then broke his streak of 14 hitless at-bats with his single in the second inning ... Pirates right-hander Charlie Morton is tentatively scheduled to start an injury rehabilitation assignment with high Class A Bradenton on Thursday. Morton, who underwent Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery last June, has pitched twice in extended spring training games in Florida. ... Cincinnati opens a three-game home series against Philadelphia on Monday night while Pittsburgh begins a three-game home series with St. Louis. Bronson Arroyo (1-1, 5.25) will start for the Reds against Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee (2-0, 1.08), and the Pirates' James McDonald (1-1, 3.75) will face the Cardinals' Lance Lynn (1-0, 4.50).

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