Pirates 9, Reds 3
The Pirates didn't slow down this time.
Andrew McCutchen doubled home two runs as part of Pittsburgh's biggest offensive showing this season, and the Pirates took advantage of another slow-starting Cincinnati pitcher, beating the Reds 9-3 on Monday night.
The Pirates scored three runs in the first off left-hander Travis Wood (1-2), the second game in a row that a Reds starter couldn't get going. Instead of dropping off after the fast start, the Pirates kept it up, achieving a season high in runs.
''We made 'em throw a lot of pitches,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ''We saw pitches, we didn't chase a whole lot. We had five two-out RBIs and a lot of two-strike hits.''
Kevin Correia (3-1) gave up four hits during his second career complete game, using the big early lead to his advantage. His toughest time came at the plate in the ninth inning, when he had to bat against left-hander Aroldis Chapman so he could go for the complete game.
He worked the count full, fouling off three pitches that registered 100 mph or better before grounding back to the mound.
''He's throwing 103 and I don't know what I'm trying to do,'' Correia said. ''After the first pitch, I moved a foot farther from the plate and started hacking.''
Pittsburgh took three of four in the series, giving the defending NL Central champs their comeuppance before a crowd of 12,777 that groaned a lot. The Pirates have won their first three road series for the first time since 2002, when they dropped 89 games.
''It gives us more confidence, winning another game on the road against a team in our division,'' McCutchen said. ''I believe it's three now, right? That's great.''
Scott Rolen led off the second with a double to center and scored on a throwing error by third baseman Steve Pearce. The Reds didn't get another hit until the eighth, when Pittsburgh was in control. Chris Heisey hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Correia, who improved to 7-1 against the Reds.
The victory boosted the Pirates - who are coming off a 105-loss campaign and have an 18-year streak of losing seasons - to 8-8.
It was a bad day in several ways for the Reds. Starting pitcher Mike Leake got arrested for shoplifting at a downtown department store in the afternoon. He issued an apology and watched from the bench. Leake beat the Pirates 11-2 on Saturday for Cincinnati's only win of the series.
Suddenly, the defending division champs have issues with their rotation, which is missing Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey. Both are on rehab stints in the minors, recovering from shoulder problems that forced them to start the season on the disabled list.
In the last two games, the Reds fell behind big, with Edinson Volquez and Wood getting roughed up before they could get three outs. The only question: Would it be enough?
Pittsburgh scored four in the first off Volquez on Sunday, then blew the lead and had to rally for a 7-6 win on McCutchen's RBI single in the eighth inning. The seven runs were a season high.
A day later, the Pirates jumped out quickly and kept piling on to yet another season high. They sent eight batters to the plate for a 3-0 lead against Wood, who needed 42 pitches to get through the first inning against one of the NL's lowly lineups. The Pirates came in batting .236 as a team.
''I felt fine,'' Wood said. ''I was frustrated. You never want to throw 40 pitches in the first inning. It just wasn't my night tonight.''
McCutchen's two-run double made it 5-0 in the fourth and ended Wood's outing. The left-hander was charged with eight runs on six hits in 3 1-3 innings.
At times, the Pirates didn't even have to swing to score. Matt Diaz got hit by a pitch from Mark Maloney in the fifth, forcing in a run that made it 9-1. McCutchen, Diaz and Pearce each drove in a pair of runs.
NOTES: Pearce made his second career start at third base. ... Chapman, who got the last three games off to get over a tender elbow, worked the ninth and threw a pitch that registered 106 mph on the scoreboard but was clocked at 103 on another pitch tracker. ... The Reds put utility player Juan Francisco on the 15-day DL with a strained calf and called up OF Jeremy Hermida from Triple-A Louisville.