Pirates, Reds end series before wild card showdown
(Sports Network) - After having secured home-field advantage for next week's wild card playoff game, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds conclude a three-game series on Sunday afternoon.
They'll meet again on Tuesday at PNC Park for one game to decide which team will advance to the NL Division Series.
The Pirates earned the right to host that contest by taking the first two games of this series to secure the league's first wild card spot. They made sure their stay in Cincinnati would not be extended by hitting six home runs in Saturday's 8-3 victory.
Neil Walker homered twice, while Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez, Marlon Byrd and Andrew Lambo all went deep in Pittsburgh's fourth victory in five games.
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 recorded the final two outs in the fifth to pick up the win.
"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.
Bronson Arroyo struggled in the start for the Reds, giving 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."
Jay Bruce drove in two runs and Brandon Phillips had an RBI for the Reds, who have lost four in a row and trail in the season series with the Pirates 10-8.
Phillips had to exit Saturday's game in the fifth inning after getting hit on the left shin by a foul ball. X-rays were negative on the second baseman and he expects to play in Tuesday's playoff game.
Pittsburgh's Gerrit Cole and Johnny Cueto of Cincinnati were slated to pitch Sunday's game, but Cueto will instead go on Tuesday for the Reds. He'll have his start today taken by Greg Reynolds, while the rookie Cole gives way to Brandon Cumpton.
Cole is expected to offer relief on Tuesday for the Pirates if scheduled starter Francisco Liriano struggles.
Cumpton will make his sixth appearance and fifth start of the season. One of starts came in Cincinnati on June 20 and he scattered a run on two hits and a walk over five innings of a no-decision.
The 24-year-old righty last made an appearance on Sept. 22 in relief versus the Reds. Cumpton logged three innings and allowed three hits while fanning three in a scoreless effort. He is 1-1 with a 2.45 earned run average on the season.
Reynolds has also made five appearances with four starts this year and is 1-2 with a 5.55 ERA.
The righty's last start came on Sept. 18 in Houston and he did not factor into a 6-5 win. Reynolds gave up two runs on four hits and two walks over 3 2/3 innings and 65 pitches, also hitting a batter.
Reynolds, 28, has only faced the Pirates once before, in 2011 with Colorado, and he allowed two runs over six innings without a decision.
09/29 09:51:04 ET