A.J. Burnett had 12 strikeouts for the first time in more than four years and the Pirates held on to beat the Reds 4-2 on Saturday night, keeping Pittsburgh on top of the NL wild card standings.
Reds right-hander Homer Bailey pitched in PNC Park for the first time since throwing the first Reds no-hitter in 24 years last Sept. 28 and had all the good history against the Pirates, but was out-pitched by Burnett.
Burnett (9-11) allowed four hits, two runs and three walks in seven innings to go with his 12 strikeouts -- the first time he reached that number since fanning 12 Rangers on Aug. 27, 2009, while with the Yankees.
"I was just focused, I was locked in," Burnett said.
Russell Martin hit a two-run homer for the Pirates, who are 2-4 in their last six.
A night after Cincinnati scored three runs in the ninth inning and won the opener of the three-game series 6-5 in 10 innings, the Pirates made sure it didn't happen again by turning key double plays in the last two innings.
Jason Grilli, who had 30 saves before going on the disabled list July 23 with a strained forearm, replaced Mark Melancon as the closer and picked up his first save since July 21. Melancon was charged with a blown save in Friday's loss.
Bailey (11-11), who was 8-3 lifetime against Pittsburgh with a 2.66 ERA coming in, was knocked around for four runs -- two earned -- on three hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings.
Zack Cozart hit a solo homer but the Reds had a four-game winning streak snapped.
"We just couldn't get much going against (Burnett). We got some runs early, then he settled down," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
The Pirates scored two runs in the sixth inning for a 4-2 lead and knocked Bailey out of the game.
Andrew McCutchen and Justin Morneau drew one-out walks. While Morneau was batting, McCutchen went to third on an errant pickoff attempt and scored on Marlon Byrd's sacrifice fly to the warning track. Pedro Alvarez drove in Morneau with a single off reliever Zach Duke for the two-run lead.
Bryan Morris gave up a one-out walk to Brandon Phillips in the eighth but Justin Wilson induced a ground-ball double play from Joey Votto to get the Pirates out of the inning.
In the ninth, Ryan Ludwick hit a leadoff single but Jay Bruce followed by grounding into a double play.
Earlier, Ryan Ludwick gave the Reds the lead in the first inning with an RBI single through the left side of the infield. Cozart's 12th homer of the season made it 2-0 in the second.
Martin's two-run blast in the bottom of the second, his 15th of the season, tied the game.
Burnett reached 200 strikeouts for the third time in his career and first time since he led the AL with 231 as a Blue Jay in 2008. He now has 203 ... Prior to this season, all three of Bailey's career complete games had come in Pittsburgh. He's thrown two at other parks this year.