Suarez homers, Votto drives in 2 as Reds edge Pirates 8-6
Suarez turned on a Joe Musgrove (2-2) offering and sent it into the bleachers in left field for a two-run shot in the fourth. Votto hit a drive to deep right-center the fifth to chase Musgrove and give the Reds the cushion they would need to beat the Pirates for just the second time in seven tries at PNC Park this season.
Scott Schebler added three RBIs for Cincinnati, including a two-run home run in the ninth to provide Cincinnati a little extra breathing room after Pittsburgh had trimmed a four-run deficit to one.
Anthony DeSclafani (2-1) surrendered solo home runs to Colin Moran and Gregory Polanco but otherwise kept the Pirates in check to pick up his second victory since his return after missing the entire 2017 season with right elbow issues.
Raisel Iglesias allowed an inherited runner to score in the eighth and an RBI-single to Austin Meadows in the ninth but managed to record the final four outs for his 10th save, receiving a bit of help in the process.
Iglesias entered with two on and two outs in the eighth and immediately surrendered a double in the gap to Gregory Polanco. David Freese scored to pull the Pirates within one but Josh Bell was out at home trying to score all the way from first
The call stood upon review after the Pirates challenged that catcher Curt Casali illegally blocked the plate.
Moran’s home run was his second in as many days. Polanco, mired in a slump that’s seen him dropped to seventh in the batting order, went 3 for 3 with his ninth home run of the season.
Musgrove had been impressive in his first four starts for the Pirates after starting the year on the disabled list with right-shoulder problems but the Reds jumped on him the second time through the lineup.
Cincinnati scored two runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth and finished 4 for 7 with runners in scoring position after going 0 for 19 in the same situation over the first two games of the series, both losses.
Musgrove was charged with six runs in 4 1/3 innings with a walk and six strikeouts as his ERA jumped from 2.16 to 3.68.
Struggling Reds centerfielder Billy Hamilton went 3 for 4 to pick up his first multi-hit game in three weeks to lift his average to .197, stole two bases and scored three times. He also made a spectacular grab on a shot to the gap in right-center by Pittsburgh’s Francisco Cervelli in the first.
Hamilton’s full-out extension to rob Cervelli of extra bases earned an ovation from the Pirates catcher, who raised his hands in appreciation of Hamilton’s effort. Hamilton later started the sequence that ended with Bell being thrown out at the plate by getting the ball to shortstop Jose Peraza, who then relayed it to Casali.
Reds: off Monday then host Detroit in a brief two-game interleague series starting Tuesday when Sal Romano (3-7, 5.67 ERA) faces Matthew Boyd (4-4, 3.23).
Pirates: Welcome Milwaukee to PNC Park for the first time this season when the Brewers come in for a three-game set starting Monday. Trevor Williams (5-4, 4.38 ERA) faces Jhoulys Chacin (6-1, 3.32) in the opener.