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Pirates 8, Reds 3

The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- The Pittsburgh Pirates hit six home runs, including two by Neil Walker, lifting them to an 8-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday afternoon at Great American Ball Park.

The victory assures Pittsburgh (93-68) will host the Reds in Tuesday's National League wild-card game at PNC Park, the first postseason game in the Steel City since 1992.

Cincinnati (90-71) is limping down the stretch, having lost four straight games.

Walker teamed up with Andrew McCutchen for back-to-back homers in the third. Andrew Lambo hit his first major league home run in the sixth.

Pittsburgh's six homers tied a single-game record for an opponent at Great American Ball Park.

Marlon Byrd continued his hot hitting, going 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs.

Vin Mazzaro (8-2) worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth to earn the victory. Pirates starter Charlie Morton allowed three runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked five and struck out three.

The first inning epitomized the Reds' recent offensive struggles. Five batters reached base, but Todd Frazier flew out to left with the bases loaded to end the inning without a run scoring.

Reds starter Bronson Arroyo was one strike away from getting through the third inning when things unraveled.

Walker hit a line-drive home run to right-center on a 3-2 pitch.

Two pitches later, McCutchen hit a 405-foot home run to center, putting Pittsburgh ahead 2-0.

Cincinnati got on the board in the third when Shin-Soo Choo was hit by a pitch and later scored on Brandon Phillips' RBI single.

Bruce then doubled high off the left-center field wall, driving in two runs to put the Reds ahead 3-2.

But Pedro Alvarez tied the score 3-3 with a solo home run on Arroyo's first pitch in the fourth inning.

Walker's second home run off Arroyo put the Pirates ahead 4-3 in the fifth. It was his first career multi-home run game.

Byrd's two-run home run with two outs in the inning capped the scoring against Arroyo, giving Pittsburgh a 6-3 advantage.

Arroyo (14-12) allowed six earned runs, including a career-high five homers, in 4 2/3 innings.

Lambo pinch-hit in the sixth against Logan Ondrusek and belted his first career homer, making the score 7-3.

NOTES: Phillips left the game in the fifth inning after fouling a pitch off his left shin. X-rays were negative. He'll be reevaluated on Sunday. ... Prior to scoring three runs in the third inning Saturday, Cincinnati had scored just one run in its previous 24 innings and had not tallied more than one run in any of its past 37 innings. "It's not easy to sit over there and watch your team struggle," said manager Dusty Baker prior to the game. ... McCutchen's third-inning homer broke a 0-for-18 skid against the Reds. ... Arroyo reached 200 innings for the eighth time in the past nine seasons. The only time he didn't was 2011 when he finished with 199. ... Arroyo had allowed four homers in a game on three occasions, but never five. ... Votto's first-inning walk was his 133rd this season, a new single-season club record. He has reached base 316 times this season, eclipsing Pete Rose's franchise mark of 311 in 1969.
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