CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds don’t play Pittsburgh again until August. They wish the wait wasn’t that long.
Joey Votto doubled twice, drove in two runs and scored twice, leading Tim Adleman and the Reds over the Pirates 4-2 on Thursday.
Adam Duvall drove in Votto both times as the Reds won for the fourth time in five games. Cincinnati is 6-1 against the Pirates this year.
“We played good ball in this series and the one in Pittsburgh,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “We took on some pretty good pitchers in (Ivan) Nova and (Jameson) Taillon. The guys are playing good. They’re playing together.”
Gift Ngoepe and Francisco Cervelli each had RBI doubles for Pittsburgh, which has lost four of five.
Adleman (1-1), who set career highs while allowing five earned runs and eight hits in his previous start at St. Louis, gave up two runs and six hits in six innings.
“You want to keep the Pirates at bay as best you can,” Adleman said. “I want to go deeper in the game. If you told me before the game that I’d go six with two earned, I’d probably take it.”
“Adleman was terrific,” Price said. “He was great. He threw strikes and went right after them He didn’t get himself in trouble.”
Cervelli thinks the Pirates helped make Adleman look good.
“We just didn’t put many runners on,” he said. “It’s a long season. We’ll see him again.”
Michael Lorenzen pitched two perfect innings, and Raisel Iglesias finished to remain perfect in five save chances.
Nova, the NL’s pitcher of the month for April, struggled on a wet, chilly day. After allowing a season-high eight hits in six innings during a 9-2 loss to Cincinnati on April 12, Nova (3-3) gave up four runs and 10 hits while struggling with two- and four-seam fastballs that had more movement than usual.
“They have a really good lineup,” he said. “I have to do something different the next time I face them.”
Votto doubled to start the scoring in a two-run fourth and came around on Duvall’s single. The Reds got five hits in the inning.
Votto doubled home Billy Hamilton from first base with two outs in the fifth. Duvall followed with his first triple of the season, a line drive into the left-field corner that caromed past Gregory Polanco along the warning track.
“It is a big comfort with Votto and Duvall batting after me,” said Hamilton, who swiped his 200th career base before Votto’s RBI double. “With them guys, you don’t have to steal a base every single pitch. It takes a little pressure off me knowing I don’t have to steal every base. Those guys can drive me in from first base. I don’t have to get to second base just to score.”
Pittsburgh’s dormant offense was as much at fault as Nova, Cervelli said.
“It was a couple of pitches,” Cervelli said. “We were facing some good hitters. Votto is good. Duvall is good. If you don’t make good pitches, you pay. The weather didn’t help, but that was the same for both teams, so that’s no excuse.
“We know he’s capable of keeping the game close, but we’ve got to score runs. He gave us six innings. We didn’t score.”
The first pitch was delayed 56 minutes by rain. Light rain was falling by the bottom of the first inning and continued intermittently throughout.
Tucker Barnhart’s request for time while batting in the third inning came too late. He hurriedly had to reset his stance and weakly bounced out to 3B Josh Harrison.
Billy Hamilton’s fifth-stolen base was the 200th of his career.
Pittsburgh saw its streak of consecutive games with at least one home run snapped at seven, the Pirates’ longest since a seven-game run last August.
Pirates: Cervelli made his first appearance since Saturday. He had been sidelined with a sore right foot, which had bothered him on and off since spring training.
Reds: SS Zack Cozart got a scheduled day off. He has three hits in his last 23 at-bats (.130) after hitting .407 over his first 18 games.
Pirates: RHP Chad Kuhl (1-2, 6.26) is scheduled to start Friday at home against Milwaukee. He left his last start on Sunday in Miami after being hit on the right knee by Dee Gordon’s comebacker.
Reds: RHP Bronson Arroyo (2-2, 7.20) is set to start Friday at home vs. San Francisco. Matt Cain (2-0, 2.30) is due to start for the Giants.
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