Published November 20, 2014
The Pirates, last in the division, loaded the bases with one out against Reds closer Francisco Cordero (6-5), but pinch-hitter Jose Tabata grounded into a forceout at the plate. McCutchen then fell behind in the count 1-2 before pulling a line drive into the left field corner, handing Cordero his second consecutive blown save. He also gave up a lead Friday in a game the Reds ended up winning, 4-3, in 12 innings.
Pittsburgh's rally cost the division-leading Reds their 82nd win of the season, which would have guaranteed their first season of .500 or better since 2000, when they were 85-77 in Jack McKeon's last season as manager.
The loss means their magic number for clinching the division remained at 15.
Cincinnati right-hander Johnny Cueto, who was 1-3 in his previous five starts, gave up a two-out single to Neil Walker in the first inning and didn't allow another hit until Pedro Alvarez's single to lead off the seventh. The right-hander didn't face more than one baserunner in any inning until the seventh, when he gave up two hits before striking out Ronny Cedeno to end the threat. That left Cueto with seven strikeouts, one in each inning, and just two walks.
Pittsburgh left-hander Brian Burres nearly as effective, giving up four hits and one walk with six strikeouts in seven innings.
Joey Votto, who drove in the last run of Saturday's 10-inning, 5-4 win with a walkoff homer leading off the 10th, drove in the first run Sunday, teaming up with Orlando Cabrera on back-to-back doubles to start the fourth inning.
Votto moved into a tie with St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols for the National League RBI lead with 102. The Cardinals were scheduled to play at Atlanta later Sunday.
Walker extended his hitting streak to 18 games by beating out a slow chopper to third in the first inning. His streak is the longest by a Pittsburgh rookie since Rennie Stennett's 18-game streak in 1971.
NOTES: Pete Rose received a standing ovation when he and members of his family were shown on the video board sitting in a luxury box. Rose, banned from baseball in 1989 for betting on games, was honored Saturday on the 25th anniversary of becoming the career hits leader. He held up a cardboard sign bearing the hastily written message, "Reds Fans R The Greatest." ... Cincinnati OF Jay Bruce, sidelined since Aug. 30 with pain in his right side, could start Tuesday, manager Dusty Baker said before the game. Bruce hit five homers in his last four games before his injury.