Pirates lose to Reds in extras, Cardinals magic number at 1 - KMOV.com

Pirates lose to Reds in extras, Cardinals magic number at 1

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CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 26: Tony Watson #44 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches in the eighth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 26, 2014 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) By Joe Robbins CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 26: Tony Watson #44 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches in the eighth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 26, 2014 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) By Joe Robbins

CINCINNATI (AP) -- The Pittsburgh Pirates’ NL Central chances were hurt when Todd Frazier had a tying two-run homer in the seventh inning and Ramon Santiago hit a grand slam in the 10th, powering the Cincinnati Reds to a 10-6 victory on Saturday.

Pittsburgh started the day a game behind first-place St. Louis, which played at Arizona later. The Pirates have already clinched at least a wild card and would host that game on Wednesday.

Jordy Mercer homered, and Neil Walker drove in three runs with a bases-loaded single and a triple as the Pirates pulled ahead 6-4 but couldn’t hold on.

John Axford (0-1) walked Frazier to open the 10th and gave up Chris Heisey’s single and another walk with one out. Left-hander Bobby LaFromboise relieved, retired Bryan Pena on a shallow fly out, then gave up Santiago’s first career grand slam.

Dylan Axelrod (2-1) retired the side in the top of the 10th.

For second year in a row, the Pirates are finishing the regular season in Cincinnati on a playoff surge. Last year, they swept a three-game series at Great American Ball Park to clinch home-field advantage in the wild card game, and then beat the Reds at PNC Park in that one, too.

The Pirates’ latest push includes 13 wins in the last 17 games. The loss on Saturday stalled their climb toward the top—they haven’t been in first place since April 8 -- and gave the Cardinals some room.

The Reds snapped a club-record streak of 45 consecutive losses when they allowed at least six runs in a game. Their bullpen got its first win since the All-Star break—Reds relievers are 1-17 over that span.

The Reds are 24-42 since the All-Star break. They’ll at least tie the club record for fewest wins since the All-Star game. The 1933 team won 25 for the previous mark.

Pittsburgh had to overcome a rare off-day by Francisco Liriano, who gave up five runs in five innings. It was only the second time in 14 starts since the All-Star break that he’d allowed more than two runs. He remained 0-5 career in the regular season against the Reds, although he beat them in the wild card game last season.

Starling Marte extended his hitting streak to 12 games, matching his career high. Josh Harrison extended his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games, the longest by a Pirate in two years.

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