Cincinnati, OH – Michael McKenry knocked in the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates took a 5-4 decision over the Cincinnati Reds in the finale of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.
Facing Aroldis Chapman (4-1), Clint Barmes drove a ground-rule double over the wall in center field to lead off the inning and McKenry followed by taking a pitch the other way and slicing it into the right-center field gap to plate Barmes.
"You have to just get up there and prepare for the 100-mile-per-hour fastball," McKenry said of his approach against Chapman. "You can't think about anything else. He throws his slider 88-90, which is more like a normal fastball, so if you stay on the heater, you have a better chance to hit the other pitches. You just have to keep it simple up there."
Joey Votto ripped a double to start the home half of the inning and Jay Bruce was intentionally walked two batters later, putting the potential winning run on. Chris Resop got Todd Frazier to foul out and caught Ryan Ludwick looking at strike three to earn his second career save and make a winner out of Joel Hanrahan (3-0), who allowed the tying home run to Ludwick in the ninth.
"We got a leadoff double there in the ninth and didn't get him in," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We had chances big time, we just didn't get it done."
Chapman allowed his first earned run of the season and snapped a streak of 29 consecutive appearances without allowing an earned run. He also had not allowed back-to-back hits since August 20, 2011.
McKenry and Garrett Jones finished with a pair of RBI and Neil Walker added an RBI double for the Pirates, who have won three of their last four.
Ludwick had two home runs and Jay Bruce had a solo shot and an RBI base hit for the Reds, losers in three of their last four contests.
With the game tied at three after six innings, Pittsburgh took the lead in the seventh. Jose Tabata beat out an infield single and was able to get to third on a bunt by Barmes before trotting home on a sac-fly by McKenry to take a 4-3 advantage.
It took just one swing for the Reds to tie the game in the ninth as Ludwick crushed a first-pitch fastball from Hanrahan into the second deck in left for his second long ball of the game.
The Reds opened the scoring in the second inning when Bruce got a first-pitch fastball from Pirates starter Kevin Correia and deposited it about three rows back in right-center field for the 1-0 lead.
Pittsburgh plated a pair of runs in the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. Alex Presley ripped a double down the right field line for the Bucs' first hit of the game to start the inning and scored on a double by Walker. Andrew McCutchen followed with a base hit and Walker scored on a sac-fly by Jones.
Cincinnati tied the game in the fifth after Ludwick smashed a hanging slider from Correia deep into the left field seats, but Pittsburgh took the lead again in the top of the sixth.
Presley started the inning with a single, moved to second on a groundout by Walker and scored on a base hit into left by Jones to make it a 3-2 game.
But the Reds got the run right back in the home half to tie it at three. Votto and Brandon Phillips hit back-to-back singles and Bruce brought home Votto with a single up the middle.
Votto (3-for-5) extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a double in the first inning...It was only the second blown save of the season for Hanrahan...This marked Ludwick's 13th career multi-homer game...Pittsburgh went 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded three, while the Reds finished 2-for-8 with men in scoring position and left nine...Correia allowed three runs on eight hits and a walk over five-plus innings...Reds starter Mike Leake gave up four runs on seven hits with five strikeouts over seven frames.