Alfredo Simon continued to shine as a substitute starter, pitching into the seventh inning despite control problems as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates problems for the second straight night 5-2 on Wednesday night.
Simon worked 6 2/3 innings and allowed two runs, four hits and five walks while striking out four. Simon has pitched at least all six innings in all four starts this season as a rotation replacement for injured Mat Latos.
Jay Bruce had two hits and knocked in the final run of the decisive three-run fifth inning against starter Charlie Morton as the Reds went ahead 4-2. Billy Hamilton also had two hits for Cincinnati, which has won seven of 10 games since a 3-7 start.
Closer Jonathan Broxton pitched a scoreless ninth, despite allowing two hits, for his third save.
Morton also had control issues, walking five in six innings while giving up four runs, three earned, and four hits with four strikeouts.
Andrew McCutchen had two hits and homered for the third consecutive night against the Reds but it didn’t matter again tonight.
The Reds used their speed to go ahead 4-2 with a three-run fifth inning that included two stolen bases and a throwing error by catcher Chris Stewart. Hamilton singled in the first run, the second run scored on Stewart’s error as he tried to throw out Hamilton trying to steal second and then Hamilton scored the final run on Bruce’s fielder’s-choice.
McCutchen had put the Pirates ahead 2-1 with a leadoff home run off Simon in the third. It was McCutchen’s fourth home run of the season and gave him homers in three straight games.
The Pirates opened the scoring when right fielder Travis Snider drew a bases-loaded walk from Simon in the first.
The Reds tied it in the second when Roger Bernandina drew a leadoff walk from Morton, stole second, continued to third on a Stewart throwing error and scored on shortstop Ramon Santiago’s groundout.
Another solid win, the Reds will go for the series win, in the finale tomorrow afternoon. Tony Cingrani will be on the mound for the Reds and the Pirates have not yet named a starter, I will give the update on who’s going to pitch for them, on my preview of the finale of the series later tonight.
First pitch is at 12:35pm, TV: FSN OHO, RADIO: 700 WLW.