Pirates wrap up top wild card spot
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Neil Walker hit two of Pittsburgh's six homers as the Pirates locked up the National League's first wild card position with an 8-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.
Andrew Lambo, Marlon Byrd, Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen also homered for the Pirates, who will host the Reds in Tuesday's wild-card game.
"The important part for me is getting these guys home and playing in a park where they won 50 games -- and giving our fans a taste of postseason baseball," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
Charlie Morton got the start and allowed three runs on five hits over 4 1/3 innings for Pittsburgh, which will be playing in the postseason for the first time since 1992. Vin Mazzaro (8-2) recorded the final two outs in the fifth to pick up the win.
Jay Bruce drove in two runs for the Reds, who have lost four in a row. Brandon Phillips had an RBI and a run scored.
Cincinnati starter Bronson Arroyo (14-12) gave up a career-high five homers over 4 2/3 innings.
"He was missing over the heart of the plate," Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said. "His balls were a little bit up and a little bit in the middle. The one that really hurt was the one that Byrd hit. He had him one ball, two strikes. There were two outs in the inning. Byrd has been a thorn in our side. That's a key late season acquisition by them. He's been a big acquisition late in the year."
The Reds left the bases loaded in the first inning.
Walker and McCutchen hit back-to-back solo homers in the third to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead.
The Reds actually responded with three runs in the bottom half. Shin-Soo Choo was hit by a pitch and moved all the way to third on Ryan Ludwick's groundout and a wild pitch. After Joey Votto walked, Phillips hit an RBI single to right. Bruce followed with a two-run double to left.
Alvarez tied the game in the fourth with a solo homer to right-center field.
Pittsburgh hit two more homers in the fifth. Walker completed his first career multi-homer game with a blast to right-center field. McCutchen singled and scored on Byrd's homer to left-center field.
Cincinnati left the bases loaded in the bottom half.
Lambo's solo homer off Logan Ondrusek in the sixth made it a 7-3 game. Clint Barmes' sacrifice fly in the eighth accounted for the final margin.
Alvarez became the first Pirate with 100 RBI in a season since Jason Bay had 109 in 2006 ... The Pirates are 10-8 against the Reds this season ... Cincinnati went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11.
09/29 03:14:17 ET