Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Reds 5, Pirates 3 Bad Math: Three Hrs, but No Win Rare Shaky Start from Liriano Puts Team in Hole That Proves Too Deep

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Reds 5, Pirates 3 Bad Math: Three Hrs, but No Win Rare Shaky Start from Liriano Puts Team in Hole That Proves Too Deep

Article excerpt

CINCINNATI --

Francisco Liriano's shortest start this season wasn't the start to the second half the Pirates had in mind.

Liriano failed to finish the fifth inning for the first time as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pirates, 5-3, Friday night at Great American Ball Park.

The Reds (54-42) tagged Liriano for five earned runs on five hits in 41/3 innings in the Pirates' first game after the All-Star break. He walked four and struck out four, throwing 54 of his 98 pitches for strikes.

Liriano, whose issues as a pitcher in seasons past stemmed from his lack of command, struggled to locate his fastball throughout. Of the 21 batters he faced, he had three-ball counts against seven of them.

He finished the first half with the team lead in wins (nine) and ERA (2.00), but he picked up his fourth loss as his ERA jumped to 2.44.

Cincinnati starter Mike Leake allowed three earned runs on six hits in 52/3 innings to earn his third win in four starts this season against the Pirates.

He surrendered three home runs, but the Reds offense provided him a big enough cushion.

The Reds rolled in the fifth, scoring four runs on five hits.

Chris Heisey, who homered in the first to give the Reds a quick, 1-0 lead, got the parade started in the fifth with his second RBI of the game.

He hit a sharp grounder to the left side of the infield that glanced off third baseman Pedro Alvarez's glove and rolled away, allowing Leake to score and make it 2-0.

After Liriano walked Joey Votto, the final batter he faced, Brandon Phillips hit a bases-clearing double off reliever Justin Wilson that put the Reds ahead, 5-0.

The Pirates (56-38) put a big dent in that lead in the sixth, when they pounded three solo home runs to make it 5-3. It was the second time this season the Pirates have hit three home runs in one inning.

Starling Marte led off with a homer to right-center field, his 10th this season. Two batters later, Andrew McCutchen crushed one to left-center field. …

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