Pittsburgh, PA – Reds shortstop Zack Cozart hit a double to start the night, but A.J. Burnett allowed almost nothing after that in the Pirates' 2-1 win in the rubber match of a three-game series Wednesday.
Burnett (4-2) went seven strong innings, allowing only two hits and one unearned run. After Cozart's leadoff double, the next Reds hit came from Chris Heisey to leadoff the seventh inning.
"We couldn't muster back-to-back hits," Reds Manager Dusty Baker said. "We really couldn't have, really, any hits."
Matt Hague came through with a clutch two-out double that scored Neil Walker and Garrett Jones in the sixth inning.
"That's a big swing of the bat for us," Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said. "Shows some growth in a young man."
Johnny Cueto (5-3) kept Cincinnati in front for most of the night, allowing only two runs on five hits in seven innings.
"He's matched up with a bunch of real good pitchers," Baker said. "He certainly could have had a chance to win that."
Heisey and Joey Votto delivered back-to-back singles with one out in the ninth, but Joel Hanrahan struck out Miguel Cairo and Ryan Hanigan to close the door on his 13th save of the year.
The Reds took an early 1-0 lead when Cozart scored in the first. After his ground-rule double, Drew Stubbs attempted a sacrifice, but Pedro Alvarez failed to field it cleanly and both runners were safe. Jay Bruce lined out to first before Brandon Phillips lofted a fly ball into left field, deep enough to score Cozart.
"[Burnett] kept us in it at the time," Hurdle said. "Kept their momentum at a minimum."
The Pirates were quiet until the sixth inning, when Walker worked a two-out walk. After Jones singled, Hague delivered the decisive blow in the win.
Jason Grilli pitched a scoreless eighth, striking out two, before Hanrahan closed out the game.
Burnett got his first hit since 2009 with a single in the fifth inning...Since allowing 12 runs in 2 2/3 innings against the Cardinals on May 2, Burnett has allowed seven runs in 34 1/3...The Reds fell to 13-4 in series this season...Cueto pitched his team-leading eighth quality start, tying Homer Bailey...The Pirates won 15 games in May for the first time since 2008...The Pirates concluded their nine-game homestand with a 6-3 record...Burnett has a 1.03 ERA (35 1/3 innings, four earned runs) at PNC Park this season. He has won his last three starts...Pittsburgh's Jordy Mercer picked up first major league hit in the first inning, a single.