Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds Live Blog: Instant Reactions and Analysis

Jared Johnson@@jaredtjohnson21Featured ColumnistJune 20, 2013

CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 18:  Russell Martin #55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates and pitcher Jason Grilli #39 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrate after defeating the Cincinnati Reds 4-0 at Great American Ball Park on June 18, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

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.

The Reds will now head out to Arizona to face the Diamondbacks (39-33) tomorrow night, while the Pirates will play the Angels (32-40) in Los Angeles, starting tomorrow night.