Pittsburgh, PA – Travis Snider's two-out single in the bottom of the 11th inning drove in the deciding run and lifted the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 5-4, come-from-behind victory over the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park.
The Pirates, shut out in each of the first two games of this series, overcame an early 4-0 deficit Sunday to avoid a sweep at the hands of their NL Central rival. Garrett Jones knotted the score at 4-4 with a two-run homer off Jonathan Broxton in the bottom of the eighth, while five Pittsburgh relievers teamed up for 10 scoreless innings after starter Jeanmar Gomez let up four runs in the first and exited with tightness in his right forearm.
"I can't give enough credit to the job that [Bryan] Morris and [Vin] Mazzaro, [Mark] Melancon, [Jason] Grilli and [Justin] Wilson [did] at the end," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "What they were able to do, 10 scoreless innings, is quite, quite a feat."
Wilson (5-0) struck out three while working the final two frames to collect the win, with Snider and Andrew McCutchen each finishing with two hits and an RBI to aid the rally.
Zack Cozart went 2-for-6 with an RBI triple for Cincinnati, which mustered only five hits total after its four-run first.
Reds starter Mat Latos struck out seven while giving up just two runs on three hits through six innings. Alfredo Simon (4-2) was saddled with the loss after allowing the winning run to score unearned over a 2 2/3-inning stint.
Cincinnati appeared on its way to their first series sweep at PNC Park in over three years after carrying a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning. However, McCutchen came through with a two-out single off Broxton, right before Jones hammered a ball that cleared the outside riverwalk and landed into the Allegheny river on a fly to tie the contest.
"I just put everything into the swing," said Jones afterward.
The game remained deadlocked into the 11th, when the Pirates were able to capitalize on an error by Cozart at short that enabled Russell Martin to reach first with one out.
Simon then walked Pedro Alvarez to move the potential winning run into scoring position. Following a flyout from Jordy Mercer, Snider dropped in a single into short right field, with the Reds' Jay Bruce's throw home well up the line as Martin slid in safely.
The Reds wasted little time in jumping out in front, with the game's first six hitters all reaching base against a scuffling Gomez during the four-run first.
After Gomez hit leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo with a pitch, Cozart drove his next offering deep into the gap in left center and hustled all the way to third. Joey Votto then drew a walk before Bruce shot a single through the right side to bring in Cozart for a 2-0 lead.
Jeff Frazier and Xavier Paul followed with base hits to knock in another run, with Bruce coming home on Devin Mesoraco's fly to left that resulted in the first out of the inning.
The Reds' bats went silent after the early outburst, however, with the relief duo of Mazzaro and Morris combining for six shutout innings to help the Pirates get back in it.
Latos had allowed just one hit -- Alvarez's solo homer over the right-field scoreboard in the second -- over his opening five innings of work. The Cincinnati starter proceeded to set down 10 of the next 11 hitters after the blast until Alex Presley began the bottom of the sixth with an infield hit.
Presley moved to second when Latos walked Starling Marte, and McCutchen singled two batters later to pull the Pirates within 4-2. It was the Bucs' first hit with a runner in scoring position since Martin's game-winning single in the 11th inning of Thursday's 1-0 decision over Detroit.
Pittsburgh threatened further after both Marte and McCutchen advanced on a wild pitch, but Latos kept it a 4-2 game by coming up with a big strikeout of Jones and retiring Martin.
The Reds loaded the bases with two down in the top of the eighth on a pair of singles and a walk issued by Melancon, who got Choo on a called third strike to avert any damage.
"We left too many runners on base, especially early," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "We could have blown them out. We didn't get any two-out hits."
Jones' homer, estimated at 463 feet, was the first ball to reach the Allegheny River on a fly since Daryle Ward did so on July 6, 2002 ... Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips sat out the game with a bruised left forearm after being hit by a pitch in Saturday's matchup ... The Pirates improved to 4-1 in extra-inning games this season, while the Reds fell to 3-5 in such matchups ... Cozart is now batting .379 (11-for-29) during an eight-game hit streak.