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Reds 5, Pirates 3

The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- Brandon Phillips' bases-loaded double drove home three runs during a four-run fifth inning and Chris Heisey added a home run in the Cincinnati Reds' 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of a three-game series before a sold-out crowd of 40,831 on Friday night at Great American Ball Park.

Reds starter Mike Leake (9-4) picked up the victory despite allowing solo homers to Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen and Russell Martin, all in the sixth inning.

Leake allowed six hits, including the three homers, in 5 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out five.

Pirates starter Francisco Liriano (9-4) lasted just 4 1/3 innings as the Reds raced to a 5-0 lead before Pittsburgh fought back.

The Pirates had the tying runs at second and third in the seventh, but Reds left-hander Manny Parra struck out Pedro Alvarez to end the inning.

Cincinnati missed a scoring opportunity in the seventh when Joey Votto was thrown out at home by Travis Snider, who had just been inserted as a defensive replacement in right field.

But five Reds relievers, including closer Aroldis Chapman who posted his 22nd save, blanked the Pirates over 3 1/3 innings. Chapman had two strikeouts in the ninth.

Liriano struggled in his first game after a nine-day layoff that included the All-Star break.

In the first inning, Heisey launched his 3-2 pitch into the left-field stands, putting Cincinnati ahead 1-0. It was Heisey's fifth home run this season,

Heisey's RBI single in the fifth made the score 2-0. Liriano exited with the bases loaded and Phillips greeted left-hander Justin Wilson with a bases-clearing double to give Cincinnati a 5-0 lead.

Liriano struggled with his command, allowing five earned runs and four walks.

NOTES: Shin-Soo Choo's single in the fifth inning extended his hitting streak to 13 games, tying a career high. ... Votto singled in the first inning to extend his on-base streak to 30 games. ... Cincinnati recalled INF Neftali Soto from Triple-A Louisville and optioned LHP Tony Cingrani to the Arizona League Reds. Cingrani, 3-1 with a 3.23 ERA in 15 appearances that included 10 starts, likely will return to start one end of Tuesday's doubleheader in San Francisco. ... Pirates 2B Neil Walker made his first rehab appearance at Triple-A Indianapolis on Friday. He expected to play five innings, then seven innings on Saturday and nine on Sunday. Walker, on the disabled list since July 9 with right-side soreness, is eligible to be reinstated on Monday. ... The Reds and Pirates have been hit by pitches 19 times in their 10 matchups this season, the highest total in the major leagues for any two opponents.
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