Published November 20, 2014
CINCINNATI (AP) — Drew Stubbs had three hits Monday night, and right-hander Aaron Harang singled home a run and chugged around the bases to score another during Cincinnati's five-run fourth inning, leading the Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Harang (3-5) singled for a 3-2 lead, then barely scored from first on Orlando Cabrera's double. He allowed four runs in 6 1-3 innings, including Ronny Cedeno's two-run homer. Stubbs added an RBI double and a solo homer.
Left-hander Brian Burres (2-2) walked the first two batters in the fourth to start the pivotal rally, which turned on Harang's two-out hit and his all-out dash.
Left-hander Arthur Rhodes pitched the eighth, extending his scoreless-innings streak to 16 1-3 innings. Francisco Cordero gave up a double in the ninth while earning his 15th save in 18 tries.
The Reds have won three of four and seven of their last 10, keeping them in a back-and-forth race with St. Louis for the top spot in the NL Central. The victory on Monday moved them into a first-place tie with the Cardinals at 26-19.
They've won all four games against the Pirates this month, including a three-game sweep May 10-12 in Pittsburgh. Harang kept it going with his first-to-home dash that made the big inning possible.
Cincinnati loaded the bases with the help of two walks, but Ryan Hanigan grounded into a double play that brought home a run and tied it at 2. Up came Harang, an .090 career hitter who had only one RBI this season. Burres fell behind in the count 3-0, got a strike, then left a pitch over the plate. Harang lined it to left for a 3-2 lead.
Cabrera then doubled to the gap in left-center, getting the 6-foot-7, 260-pound Harang moving at his top speed. Harang was waved around third and barely beat the high relay throw home, stepping on the plate as catcher Ryan Doumit tagged his belt.
No way was he going to slide.
Brandon Phillips followed with an RBI single, and Joey Votto's run-scoring double completed the rally. Stubbs added a solo homer an inning later for a 7-2 lead.
Despite all the running, Harang held up on a muggy, 84-degree night. He left after giving up a two-run double by Delwyn Young in the seventh, when Pittsburgh cut it to 7-5. Harang threw 114 pitches.
The Pirates also lost first baseman Steve Pearce, who sprained his ankle in the second inning while chasing down Young's errant throw from third base. Young's throw led to an unearned run, and Pearce left the game an inning later.
NOTES: Cedeno has four homers this season, three against Cincinnati. ... The Reds set off fireworks during the seventh-inning stretch, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the first night game at Crosley Field. ... The Reds placed Homer Bailey on the 15-day DL with an inflamed pitching shoulder. RH reliever Enerio Del Rosario, called up to fill the roster spot, made his big-league debut in the seventh and struck out Andrew McCutcheon, who reached on a passed ball on strike three.