Cincinnati, OH – Pedro Alvarez's three-run double in the top of the seventh inning helped the Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the Cincinnati Reds, 5-3, in the finale of a four-game series.
Alvarez drove in all of Pittsburgh's runs Thursday afternoon. The third baseman went 3-for-4 with a home run.
"The last few days there have been a lot of strikeouts, but we try to take the positive in everything. I think we have been doing a pretty good job of working some pitchers and making them throw a lot of pitches. I think that pays off later in the game," said Alvarez.
Brandon Cumpton went five innings for Pittsburgh in his second major league start. He allowed two runs -- one earned -- on five hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
Bryan Morris (4-2) picked up the win for Pittsburgh after coming on for Cumpton in the sixth inning. He allowed one run on three hits with two strikeouts before handing the ball over to Tony Watson, who picked up his second save of the season after tossing the final two frames.
Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey gave up two runs on six hits with eight strikeouts in six innings of work. Alfredo Simon (5-3) was charged with the loss after allowing three runs while recording just one out in the seventh.
"We kind of kept them at bay as long as we could and then you know Pedro Alvarez had an unbelievable day," said Bailey.
Jay Bruce hit his 15th home run of the season for the Reds.
With the game tied at 2-2, the Pirates loaded the bases in the top of the seventh before Alvarez emptied them with a line-drive double to right.
Cincinnati's Jack Hannahan grounded out to score Zack Cozart from third base in the bottom of the inning. Shin-Soo Choo then bunted and reached second after Pittsburgh catcher Michael McKenry threw the ball past first baseman Gaby Sanchez for an error.
Xavier Paul flew out to left field, however, stranding a runner in scoring position and ending Cincinnati's threat.
The Reds appeared to be in trouble early on in the top of the first, when Bailey gave up a leadoff double to Starling Marte, who then stole third base before Andrew McCutchen was hit with a pitch. However, the right-hander bounced back with three straight strikeouts.
Joey Votto started the scoring when he delivered Shin-Soo Choo from second in the bottom of the first to put the Reds up 1-0.
In the top of the third, Alvarez singled to right to bring in McCutchen from third base to tie the game.
Bruce hit a solo home run to center field in the bottom of the fourth to put Cincinnati back ahead, but Alvarez tied the game in top of the sixth with a solo home run to right field -- his 16th of the year.
Cumpton struck out the first four batters he faced in his first major league start. He was the first to start his career with such a streak since Pete Richert of the Dodgers on April 12, 1962 ... Alvarez's solo home run was his sixth home run in the month of June ... Bruce has hit the Reds' last three home runs and has five in Cincinnati's last seven games.