Hamilton, Mesoraco end homer droughts, Reds beat Pirates 7-2
CINCINNATI (AP) — Billy Hamilton didn’t even know how long it had been since he circled the bases.
The Reds’ speedy leadoff hitter ended one of the major leagues’ longest home run droughts with a three-run shot, and Devin Mesoraco hit his first in more than two years, powering Cincinnati to a 7-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.
The Reds have won five of six from their Ohio River rivals.
Eugenio Suarez started the Reds’ surge with a three-run homer in the first inning off Jameson Taillon (2-1), who hadn’t allowed a homer on the road this season. Hamilton hit his first homer since June 28 — a streak of 319 at-bats that was the third-longest active drought in the majors — just inside the right-field pole for a 6-0 lead in the fourth inning.
“I had no idea,” Hamilton said of his long streak. “I know now. It could’ve gone 300 more as long as I was getting base hits and getting on base.”
He’s found plenty of ways to hurt the Pirates, including his game-ending double in the 10th inning for a 4-3 victory on Monday.
“It was an ambush fastball we tried to get in tight that didn’t get in tight,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “He continues to be more than a rock in our shoe.”
Tallion gave up eight hits and six runs in five innings. He had allowed only one earned run in his three previous road starts.
“I was putting guys on after putting myself in a good position,” Tallion said. “If there’s no runners on, then home runs don’t beat you, but two three-run homers do.”
Mesoraco missed most of the last two seasons because of surgery on his hip and shoulder. He connected for a solo shot in the sixth off Trevor Williams, the catcher’s first homer since Sept. 23, 2014 — a span of 117 at-bats.
Rookie Davis (1-1) repeatedly escaped threats to get his first victory in the majors. The Pirates left the bases loaded in the second and the fourth. Davis lasted five innings, allowing four hits and three walks. He threw 91 pitches.
“He had to work for it,” manager Bryan Price said. “Nothing came easy for him. The Pirates don’t go away. They grind it out. Some big offense certainly helped.”
One day after they matched their season high with 12 runs, the Pirates couldn’t get a hit with runners in scoring position, going 0 for 8. Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run homer in the seventh off Cody Reed.
Hamilton’s last homer was off the Cubs’ Jon Lester. The major leaguers with longer homerless streaks entering the day were the Rangers’ Pete Kozma (536 at-bats) and the Marlins’ Adeiny Hechavarria (407 at-bats). … Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison was hit by a pitch for the seventh time in 26 games. … The Pirates have homered in seven consecutive games. … McCutchen’s homer was his 18th at Great American Ball Park, matching Aramis Ramirez for fourth-most by an opponent.
Mesoraco caught his second straight game for Cincinnati, the first time he’s gone back-to-back since he was activated last week. Mesoraco missed the start of the season while completing his recovery from hip and shoulder surgery last year.
About 400 dogs were in the stands for the first of the Reds’ four “Bark in the Park” promotions.
Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli missed a fourth straight game with a sore right foot that was improving with treatment. The Pirates have no plans to put him on the DL. … LHP Antonio Bastardo has started playing catch. He’s been sidelined since April 25 by a strained left thigh.
Reds: RHP Homer Bailey will begin throwing in the bullpen every third day at the team’s spring training complex in Arizona. He had bone spurs removed from his pitching elbow in February. He’s not expected back before late June at the earliest.
Pirates: Ivan Nova (3-2) was named the NL’s pitcher of the month for April, when he threw two complete games and a shutout. Nova pitched a three-hitter for a 4-0 win against Miami on Saturday. He has more complete games than walks allowed this season, with only one batter getting a base on balls.
Reds: Tim Adleman (0-1) gave up a season-high eight hits and six runs in 5 1/3 innings of a 7-5 loss at St. Louis on Friday.