PITTSBURGH – Jay Bruce had three hits, including a pair of doubles, Todd Frazier drove in two runs to cap an eventful 24 hours and the Cincinnati Reds cruised by the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-1 on Tuesday night.
Homer Bailey (4-3) gave up one run on four hits, walking one and striking out four while pitching his second career complete game.
Frazier doubled and tripled in his first two at-bats less than a day after saving a Pittsburgh restaurant-goer from choking on a piece of steak by giving him the Heimlich maneuver.
Charlie Morton (2-6) struggled with his trademark sinker and the Reds took advantage by knocking him around soggy PNC Park following a nearly 2-hour rain delay.
The Pirates were looking for their first five-game winning streak since September 2010 but faltered on a night Morton took another step backward.
Frazier stepped up not just for the Reds but for a fortunate customer at a local steakhouse on Monday night. The third baseman joined teammate Ryan Ludwick for dinner when he noticed a man at a nearby table struggling with a piece of food.
Frazier ran to the table and squeezed the man twice trying to jar the piece of meat out of the man's windpipe. The second squeeze worked, saving the man from a serious medical emergency. The customer thanked Frazier and later picked up the tab for both players.
Back at work later on Tuesday, Frazier and the rest of his teammates made quick work of the Pirates and Morton.
The right-hander enjoyed a breakout season last year, posting a career-high 10 wins and dominating the Reds. Morton went 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA in four starts against Cincinnati a year ago, including a five-hit shutout.
Those numbers are long gone. Morton lost for the fifth time in his last six starts and fell to Cincinnati for the second time in three weeks. The Reds tagged him for five runs In six innings during a loss on May 6 and quickly jumped on Morton again.
Cincinnati took a 2-0 lead in the second behind back-to-back doubles by Bruce and Frazier, and extended it to 4-0 two innings later thanks to some lackadaisical Pittsburgh defense. Bruce led off with a double and Frazier followed one batter later with a shot to the gap in left-center field.
Pittsburgh left fielder Jose Tabata jogged after the ball as it rolled to the wall, where it was eventually run down by Andrew McCutchen, who fired a relay to shortstop Josh Harrison. Harrison tried to gun down Frazier at third but the ball sailed over the Pirates dugout and Frazier trotted home.
It was all the run support Bailey required while winning his third straight start. The Pirates only managed one extra-base hit — a two-out triple by McCutchen — and never threatened to move over .500 for the first time since the third game of the season.
The Reds, who were stopped cold by Pittsburgh's James McDonald on Monday following a 6-1 homestand that vaulted them into first-place, bounced back by flexing some muscle.
Cincinnati drilled five extra-base hits while continuing its offensive deluge. The Reds have scored at least six runs in five of their last 11 games. The Pirates, baseball's lowest scoring team, have reached that number just four times all season.
Bailey needed just 103 pitches — 77 for strikes — to subdue the Pirates. He grew stronger as the game wore on and didn't give up a hit over the final four innings.
NOTES: Pittsburgh C Rod Barajas caught his 1,000th major league game on Tuesday, third-most among active catchers behind A.J. Pierzynski and Ramon Hernandez ... The series concludes on Wednesday night when Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto (5-2, 2.53 ERA) faces Pittsburgh's A.J. Burnett (3-2, 4.19 ERA) ... Pirates rookie infielder Jordy Mercer, called up Tuesday afternoon, grounded out in his first major league at bat in the eighth.