Simon strong as Reds down Pirates
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Alfredo Simon continued his solid start to the season with a fourth straight quality start, and the Cincinnati Reds downed the Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-2, in the third installment of a four-game series at PNC Park.
Simon (3-1) held the Pirates to two runs despite allowing four hits and five walks over 6 2/3 innings to pick up the victory.
Jay Bruce and Billy Hamilton each had two hits, an RBI and a run scored for the Reds, who have won three of their last four.
Pittsburgh brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but after Zack Cozart made an over-the-shoulder catch in short center for the second out, Jonathan Broxton got Andrew McCutchen on a groundout to secure his third save.
McCutchen hit a solo home run for the third time in as many days, but the Pirates still fell to 3-10 over their last 13 games.
Charlie Morton (0-3) remained winless on the young season after yielding four runs -- three earned -- on four hits and five walks over six frames.
Simon did not get off to a good start, yielding a leadoff single with three consecutive two-out walks to force in the game's first run.
He only made one more costly mistake the rest of the way, though, as McCutchen's blast in the third staked the Pirates to a 2-1 lead.
The Reds scored a run without a hit in the second when Roger Bernadina walked, stole second, advanced to third when Chris Stewart's throw sailed to the outfield and came across on Ramon Santiago's groundout.
They added three more runs on just one hit in the fifth. A hit-batsman and a walk put two on for Hamilton, who singled in Devin Mesoraco to even things. Another Stewart error, this time while trying to nab Hamilton from stealing second, allowed Santiago to score, and Bruce beat out a potential inning- ending double-play ball to bring in Hamilton for a 4-2 Reds lead.
Mesoraco's run-scoring groundout in the eighth added an insurance run.
Bruce's double in the eighth and McCutchen's homer were the game's only extra- base hits ... Pittsburgh went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, compared to Cincinnati's 1-for-9 success rate ... Thursday's finale of this four-game series pits Reds lefty Tony Cingrani against Brandon Cumpton, who will be making his season debut for Pittsburgh.
04/23 22:40:12 ET