Down 9-0, Pirates topple Reds 13-12

Down 9-0, Pirates topple Reds 13-12

Alfonso Rivas went 3-for-5 and drove in five runs as the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied from a 9-0 deficit to beat host Cincinnati 13-12 on Saturday and deal the Reds’ postseason hopes a crippling blow.

Rivas got the Pirates on the board with an RBI single in the fourth inning. After the Pirates scored five runs in the sixth to trim their deficit to 9-6, Rivas’ bases-clearing double tied the game at 9-9 in the seventh. He then singled home another run in Pittsburgh’s four-run eighth inning.

The Pirates (74-81) also got a three-run home run from Bryan Reynolds — his 23rd homer of the season — and three RBIs from Ji Hwan Bae with a run-scoring single in the sixth and a two-run double in the eighth.

Cincinnati (79-77) tried to rally in its half of the eighth when Nick Martini’s fielder’s choice grounder drove in one run, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand singled home a second.

Encarnacion-Strand contributed to the Reds’ 9-0 start with a two-run homer in the first off of Pirates starter Bailey Falter — his 10th bomb of the season — and an RBI single in the second. Encarnacion-Strand finished the night 3-for-5 with four RBIs.

The Reds got the game-tying runs in scoring position with none out in the ninth inning against Carmen Mlodzinski after pinch hitter Joey Votto’s lead-off single and TJ Friedl’s double. Jake Fraley scored Votto with a ground-out, but Mlodzinski struck out Elly De La Cruz after an 11-pitch at-bat, then got Jonathan India to fly out for his first career save.

Jose Hernandez (1-1) earned the win. He came on with two out in the seventh and walked a man but got a strikeout to end the inning. Alexis Diaz (9-6), typically the Reds’ closer, was tagged for four runs and five hits in taking the loss.

The Reds dropped 2 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the chase for the final wild-card spot in the National League. The Reds, who face an elimination number of five, would also have to leapfrog the Miami Marlins, who are one game behind the Cubs.