Cincinnati, OH – Clint Barmes went 3-for-4 with three RBI and Neil Walker hit a two-run homer to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to an 8-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds in the opener of a three-game set at Great American Ball Park.
Alex Presley homered, tripled and scored twice while Casey McGehee homered and drove in two for the Pirates, winners in eight of their last 10.
A.J. Burnett (5-2) gave up three runs on five hits and struck out eight over five frames to win his fourth straight start.
Joel Hanrahan stranded two runners in the ninth to pick up his 15th save of the year, as the Pirates moved within two games of the first-place Reds in the NL Central.
Joey Votto drove in two runs while Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier each drove in a run for the Reds, losers in three of their last five.
Homer Bailey (4-4) lasted just three innings after giving up six runs on eight hits.
The Reds wasted no time and jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first. Zack Cozart singled to open the inning, stole second and scored on Votto's single. Drew Stubbs, who walked prior to Votto's single, scored on Bruce's sacrifice fly in the next at-bat.
The Pirates answered back in the second to even the score. Garrett Jones hit a lead-off single, stole second before moving to third when Matt Hague grounded out. McGehee followed with a single that plated Jones. Rod Barajas grounded into to a fielder's choice then scored when Barmes roped a double to left- center.
Pittsburgh added four in the third to go ahead 6-2. Presley tripled before Walker clobbered a homer to center to open the frame. A Hague single followed by back-to-back walks issued to McGehee and Barajas loaded the bases. Barmes singled to left-center to make it a four-run cushion.
"I knew I squared it up," Walker said. "Any time it's hit to the central part of the park you're not quite sure. But I knew I hit it about as well as I hit a ball all year."
McGehee's solo homer in the fifth and Presley's blast in the sixth expanded the margin to six runs.
"It was good to score," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "But I think if you got any history here of this ball park and (the Reds), I mean, there were situations in this game that with one swing of the bat it could have tightened things up."
Cincinnati added one in the home half of the sixth. Bruce walked, moved to third on a Chris Heisey single then scored on Frazier's sacrifice fly.
The Reds wasted a bases-loaded opportunity in the seventh when Heisey fanned to end the inning.
Votto added an RBI single in the ninth. The Reds put two men in scoring position later in the frame, but Heisey struck out to end the game.
"We left quite a few men on base tonight," Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said. "The big blow was the bases loaded, two-out single by Barmes. That was big."
Prior the game there was a moment of silence and video tribute to in honor of former Reds pitcher Pedro Borbon, who died Monday at age 65...The Pirates are 6-1 dating back to last season at Great American Ball Park....Pittsburgh is 20-1 when leading after six innings...Votto extended his hitting streak to 11 games...The Reds were 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 runners.