Cincy continues mastery of Bucs

CINCINNATI — Tyler Mahle struck out 10, Kyle Farmer delivered another key hit and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 Sunday for a four-game sweep.

Nick Castellanos added a double and scored as playoff-chasing Cincinnati continued its dominance of the Pirates, improving to 9-1 against them this season. Dating to last season, the Reds have won 13 of 14 games from Pittsburgh.

Cincinnati is a season-high 10 games over the .500 mark.

Mahle (9-3) allowed six hits without walk in seven innings. He pitched seven innings for just the third time this season.

“I didn’t make a lot of mistakes,” Mahle said. “I didn’t walk guys. Getting to the seventh is good for team. The bullpen had two good innings. We were pounding the zone and got soft contact”

Mahle, who going into the game had a 2.06 ERA on the road but 6.18 at home, fanned six through the first three innings, allowing only a soft single by Ke’Bryan Hayes. He retired nine straight before Bryan Reynolds doubled and scored on Anthony Alford’s single in the fourth.

“Tyler has had games where he got better as the game went on and this was one of them,” Reds manager David Bell said. “The way he competes is what sets him apart.”

The Reds handed Mahle the lead when Farmer, who since the All-Star break leads the major leagues in hitting, had an RBI double off Bryse Wilson (2-5) to cap a three-run fourth.

“(Wilson) missed on an 0-2 changeup to (Joey) Votto and a 1-2 fastball to Farmer,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “I thought he pitched pretty well. He missed on a couple ahead in the count.”

Hayes led off the sixth with his fifth home run of the season to make it a one-run game.

Mychal Givens earned his second save of the season in the first real nail-biter in this series.

“It was a bit different game than we’ve been playing,” Bell said. “We’ve been scoring a lot of runs lately.”

Castellanos doubled and scored in the fourth.

House of horrors

The Reds improved to 7-0 against the Pirates this season in Great American Ball Park and dating to last season, they have beaten their division rivals 12 straight times at home. “They have had our number in this ballpark,” Shelton said. “I wish I had an answer for that. I don’t.”

Been awhile

Hayes had gone 100 at-bats without a home run prior to Sunday. Hayes’ previous homer came on July 5 off Atlanta’s Josh Tomlin. “His swings were considerably better in this series,” Shelton said. “If there was a bright spot for us in this series, it was him.” Hayes went 6 for 15 in the series with a homer, double and two RBIs.

Saturday’s game

Jesse Winker went 3 for 5 with a homer, double and tied a career high with six RBIs to lift the Reds over the Pirates 11-3 on Saturday night.

Nick Castellanos and Joey Votto also homered. Bryan Reynolds went 3 for 4 with a two-run homer and an RBI triple for Pittsburgh.

Pirates starter Mitch Keller (3-9), who owned a 9.37 ERA in four previous starts against the Reds, allowed four earned runs in five innings to take the loss.


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