PITTSBURGH – Reds rookie Travis Wood shut out the Pirates on two singles over seven innings, fill-in first baseman Miguel Cairo drove in two runs and the Cincinnati Reds stayed hot, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 on Monday night.
Russ Springer, the 41-year-old right-hander brought up from the minors earlier in the day, and Arthur Rhodes, the 40-year-old first-time All-Star, pitched an inning each to complete the combined three-hitter — Cincinnati's seventh shutout and fifth victory in six games.
The Reds began the night one-half game behind NL Central leader St. Louis, which played Houston on Monday night.
Chris Heisey finished off the Reds' seventh victory in their last eight against Pittsburgh with an inside-the-park home run in the eighth inning.
Heisey's line drive over the head of shortstop Ronny Cedeno found the left-center gap and was misplayed by center fielder Andrew McCutchen, who wasn't given an error despite permitting the ball to roll to the wall. Heisey beat the relay throw to the plate standing up for his seventh homer.
The Pirates, on pace for their record-extending 18th consecutive losing season and their first 100-loss season since 2001, have been outscored 34-5 while losing their last five. They have scored two runs in their last four, with the Cardinals outscoring them 21-2 during a three-game weekend sweep.
Three of those losses were to some of the NL's top pitchers — Ubaldo Jimenez, Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter — but the left-handed Wood (2-1) had made only six previous career starts, winning once. His first career victory was a 10-2 decision over Milwaukee on Wednesday, when he lasted five innings.
Wood was in control from the start before a smallish crowd of 15,172 in PNC Park, never allowing a runner past second base while giving up only singles by Neil Walker in the first and Lastings Milledge in the fifth. He struck out four and walked one, lowering his ERA from 2.87 to 2.42.
Pirates starter Ross Ohlendorf (1-9) withstood being struck by a line drive in the first inning for the second straight game, but was troubled by wildness. He walked four and hit a batter over five innings, with walks to Brandon Phillips and Orlando Cabrera setting up Cairo's run-scoring single.
Cairo, filling in for NL RBIs leader Joey Votto, who sat out with a sprained right wrist, also had a sacrifice fly in the fourth after Phillips singled and stole second.
Ohlendorf, pulled Wednesday in Colorado after being struck in the head by Troy Tulowitzki's line drive, took a line drive off the right leg by Jonny Gomes, but the ball ricocheted to first baseman Garrett Jones for the out. Ohlendorf flashed a smile before being examined by trainers and stayed in the game.
NOTES: Pirates C-OF Ryan Doumit (concussion) began a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Indianapolis. ... Pirates rookie 3B Pedro Alvarez, in a 2-for-28 slump, didn't start for only the second time since his June 16 callup. ... Votto is day to day. ... C Chris Snyder, acquired Saturday from Arizona, made his first start for Pittsburgh. RHP James McDonald, picked up the same day from Los Angeles, will start Thursday against Colorado. ... Reds rookie Mike Leake, skipped in the Atlanta series as the Reds monitor his innings, starts Tuesday.