Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pirates 3, Reds 2

Garrett Jones puts the Pirates ahead 1-0 in the second inning with a one-out solo homer.

Getty Images

Garrett Jones puts the Pirates ahead 1-0 in the second inning with a one-out solo homer.

CINCINNATI — Jeff Locke broke into a grin before taking any questions.

"Happy to be back," the left-hander said.

No one's happier than the Pirates, who used their formula from a highly successful first half — strong pitching, just enough scoring — to salvage the final game of their series with Reds on Sunday. Locke allowed only an infield single through six innings of a 3-2 victory.

Second-place Pittsburgh left town with a three-game cushion over NL Central rival Cincinnati, which won the first two games.

"There's still a lot of games left, but to get this final game is big," said Garrett Jones, who homered off Homer Bailey. "Every game matters."

Locke and the majors' second-stingiest bullpen held the Reds to three singles but issued seven walks and let a run score on a wild pitch.

Locke had to miss his last scheduled start and couldn't pitch in the All-Star Game because of a sore back. There were no problems when he got back on the mound.

"The back was great," Locke said.

Bailey struck out a career-high 12 but fell to 0-3 in his three starts since his no-hitter against the Giants at Great American Ball Park on July 2. Jones hit his second homer in two games, and the Pirates added two runs in the seventh.

"That was the best I've ever seen Bailey," Jones said. "His velocity was up, his cutter was nasty and he was hitting his spots well."

The Pirates hit six homers during the series, all solo shots. It underscored their main concern as trade talks intensify: Can they score enough runs to make the playoffs?

"I'm just one of the pieces that need to pick it up," said Jones, who has 10 homers after hitting a career-high 27 last year. "I had a slow first half and this is the time to hit and be productive and help your team win."

The Ohio River rivals don't meet again until September, when they play each other six times in the last nine games.

Pirates 3

Reds 2

Pirates 3, Reds 2 07/21/13 [Last modified: Sunday, July 21, 2013 11:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays morning after: The bats have disappeared

    Blogs

     

  2. Bryan Harper's path to the majors, where his brother is a star, has been bumpy

    The Heater

    He has thrown 215 professional innings over 168 minor-league outings, and at various points the kid from Las Vegas has called Viera and Hagerstown, Md., and Harrisburg, Pa. and Syracuse, N.Y., and even Arlington, Va. home. During that summer he lived in the D.C. suburbs, he would rise some mornings with his brother in …

  3. Blake Snell steps up, but Rays lose to Orioles anyway (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell stepped up when he had to Monday and delivered an impressive career-high seven-plus innings for the Rays. That it wasn't enough in what ended up a 5-0 loss to the Orioles that was their season-high fifth straight is symptomatic of the mess they are in right now.

    Tim Beckham stands hands on hips after being doubled off first.
  4. Rays vs. Orioles, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Orioles

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  5. Rays journal: Sergio Romo excited for fresh start in AL

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Sergio Romo was about to play catch with LHP Adam Kolarek before Monday's batting practice when he paused.

    RAMOS EXITS: Rays catcher Wilson Ramos clutches his head after being beaned by Ruben Tejada’s broken bat in the fifth inning. Ramos leaves the game and receives six staples to close a laceration on his head.