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Pirates 4, Reds 2

The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- The regular season is over, but the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds are not finished with each other.

On Sunday afternoon, shortstop Jordy Mercer went 3-for-4 including an inside-the-park home run and a triple, lifting the Pirates to a 4-2 victory over the Reds in the regular-season finale, completing a three-game sweep before 40,142 fans at Great American Ball Park.

Pittsburgh (94-68) hosts Cincinnati (90-72) in the National League Wild Card game on Tuesday night at PNC Park in the first postseason game played in the Steel City since 1992.

Sunday afternoon's game had the feeling of a Spring Training game with few regulars in the lineup for an extended period. Cincinnati began the game with its standard lineup, before substituting freely in the fifth.

"I didn't want them to be off a full two days," said Reds manager Dusty Baker prior to the game. "I also didn't think it was fair to the fans coming to the game to not see these guys play, at least for a while. They won't play long."

Cincinnati's heads to the postseason on a five-game losing streak.

Pittsburgh starter Brandon Cumpton (2-1) made his fifth career start and allowed just two hits through six innings. Cumpton walked one and struck out three.

Mercer led off the second inning with the Pirates' second inside-the-park home run this season.

Reds right-fielder Jay Bruce attempted to make a diving catch of Mercer's sinking liner but the ball got by him and rolled to the wall. Mercer scored without a throw, putting the Pirates ahead, 2-0.

Mercer tripled in the fourth and scored on Josh Harrison's single, making the score 3-0.

Cincinnati starter Greg Reynolds (1-3) gave up three earned runs on seven hits in five innings.

Garrett Jones added a solo home run off Nick Christiani in the eighth inning, making the score 4-0. It was Jones' 15th home run this season.

In the eighth, Corky Miller's two-run double off Jeanmar Gomez cut the Pirates' lead to 4-2.

Kyle Farnsworth allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth to earn his second save.

NOTES: RHP Johnny Cueto said he's healthy and prepared to start Tuesday's National League Wild Card game. Mat Latos originally was slated to start but developed a sore arm. "I feel good. I feel normal, like I've felt pitching the whole year," said Cueto, who's been on the disabled list three times this season with a strained lat muscle. "This is a very meaningful game. I just need to go out and do my job." ... Reds 1B Joey Votto became the first Reds player to appear in all 162 games since Aaron Boone in 2002. ... Pirates 3B Pedro Alvarez was the only regular in the lineup Sunday. Alvarez entered Sunday's game tied with Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt for the NL lead with 36 homers. ... Reds 2B Brandon Phillips, who left Saturday's game in the fifth inning after fouling a pitch off his left shin, was receiving treatment and should be ready for Tuesday. X-Rays were negative. ... Tuesday's wild-card game at PNC Park will begin at 8:07 p.m. EST.
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