The Pittsburgh Pirates (43-30) used a big offensive performance from third baseman Pedro Alvarez (5 RBI) to defeat the Cincinnati Reds (44-30), 5-3, in the finale of the two teams' four-game series Thursday afternoon.
Alvarez singled in a run in the third inning, hit a solo home run in the sixth, then hit a three-run double in the seventh, which broke a 2-2 tie.
Starters Brandon Cumpton for the Pirates and Homer Bailey for the Reds both made solid starts, each allowing two runs. However, Reds reliever Alfredo Simon came in and loaded the bases before Tony Cingrani replaced him to allow Alvarez' big double. Simon will be saddled with the loss.
The Pirates' Bryan Morris earned the win after pitching the sixth and seventh innings and allowing one run. Tony Watson came in at the beginning of the eighth inning and completed the game for a save.
The Reds' offense got their runs from Joey Votto's RBI single in the first, Jay Bruce's solo home run in the fourth and Jack Hannahan's RBI groundout in the seventh.
With the victory, the Pirates are now just one-half game behind the Reds in the National League Wild Card Standings. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh also stand three and three and a half games, respectively, out of first place in the NL Central. The St. Louis Cardinals (46-26) lead that division.