MLB

Reds rally past Pirates, 5-4

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PITTSBURGH (AP)

The Cincinnati Reds sent Pittsburgh All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan to his second loss in three days, scoring twice in the ninth to beat the Pirates 5-4 on Sunday.

Ramon Hernandez hit an RBI-single to tie the game with one out in the top of the ninth and Dave Sappelt scored on Brandon Phillips' fielder's choice as Cincinnati took two of three in the series.

Joey Votto added a three-run homer for the Reds. Jose Arredondo (3-3) pitched two perfect innings in relief and Francisco Cordero survived an eventful ninth to earn his 26th save.

Garrett Jones and Andrew McCutchen each hit two-run homers for Pittsburgh, which had been a perfect 52-0 when leading after eight innings.

Hanrahan (0-3) gave up two runs on three hits and two walks in 2-3 of an inning to blow a save opportunity for just the third time this year.

The burly right-hander has been nearly unhittable for Pittsburgh this season, but has struggled with his command of late. He gave up three runs while getting just one out in the ninth inning in an 11-8 defeat to Cincinnati on Friday. While he rebounded with a perfect ninth to earn his 31st save Saturday, his control issues resurfaced in the series finale.

Todd Frazier led off the ninth with a single and later Ryan Hanigan walked with one out. Frazier scored on pinch-hitter Hernandez's single to left and the Reds loaded the bases on a soft single by Miguel Cairo.

Phillips followed with a chopper to second. Pittsburgh's Neil Walker hurried a toss to shortstop Ronny Cedeno for one out but had no chance to get a hustling Phillips as Sappelt crossed the plate to put Cincinnati in front.

The Pirates had a chance to return the favor in the bottom of the inning. Ryan Doumit hit a lead-off single against Cordero but pinch-runner Josh Harrison was called out on a close play at second. Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle came out to argue the call and was ejected for the fourth time this season and second time in three days.

Walker doubled with one out and advanced to third on a sacrifice fly but Cordero got Brandon Wood to ground out to third to end it.

Both clubs were hoping for solid outings from the starters after a pair of lengthy games to open the series. Cincinnati's starter Mike Leake and Pittsburgh's James McDonald tried to oblige.

Leake gave up four runs on five hits, striking out one and walking five while McDonald surrendered three runs on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

The 26-year-old right-hander has going deep into games this year and appeared headed for another short outing after needing 26 pitches to get through a scoreless first inning.

McDonald quickly settled down, breezing through the next three frames before into trouble in the fifth. Phillips doubled with one out and Fred Lewis walked. Votto worked the count full then took a fastball and sent it just over the wall in center for his 22nd homer of the season to put Cincinnati in front 3-2.

The Pirates wasted little time responding. Jose Tabata, who agreed to a six-year $14.75 million contract early Sunday that also includes three club options, drilled a shot off the wall in right and sprinted to third for a leadoff triple before Jones scooped Leake's 1-2 breaking ball off the dirt and into the right-field seats to put Pittsburgh back in front.

Pittsburgh's hamstrung bullpen made it stand up. Jason Grilli worked out of a two-on jam in the seventh while Jose Veras, pitching for the third day in a row, breezed through a perfect eighth and appeared to set the stage for Hanrahan.

Yet the leadoff single by Frazier seemed to rattle him and the two walks sent him to another frustrating defeat.

NOTES: The start of the game was delayed 41 minutes by rain and delayed another 20 minutes in the top of the seventh. ... Pirates P Paul Maholm will visit Dr. James Andrews on Monday to have his left shoulder examined. Maholm went on the disabled list for the first time in his career last week ... Pittsburgh opens a four-game set with the first-place Milwaukee Brewers on Monday with a doubleheader. Jeff Karstens (9-6, 3.12 ERA) starts the first game while Brad Lincoln will start the nightcap. ... The Reds are off Monday and begin a three-game series at Florida on Tuesday. Johnny Cueto (9-5, 1.89 ERA), who leads the NL in ERA, starts for Cincinnati. ... Reds pitcher Homer Bailey served as a pinch-runner in the seventh.

Tagged: Reds, Pirates, Francisco Cordero, Brandon Phillips, Jose Veras, Joel Hanrahan, Homer Bailey, Jose Arredondo, Jose Tabata, Mike Leake

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