The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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April 21, 2014

Pirates walk off against Reds to halt home skid

PITTSBURGH — Ike Davis became the first player to hit grand slams for different teams in the same April, and Neil Walker had a winning run single with two outs in the ninth inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates twice overcame deficits to beat the Reds 6-5 Monday night.

Pittsburgh trailed 2-0 before Davis’ fourth-inning homer off Mike Leake. Davis hit a game-winning, ninth-inning slam off the Reds’ J.J. Hoover on April 5 for the New York Mets, who traded him to the Pirates on Friday.

According to STATS, no player previously hit slams for different teams in the same April. Davis became just the third to hit slams for different teams against the same opponent in the same year, following Ray Boone in 1953 and Mike Piazza in 1998.

The Pirates were behind 5-4 before Andrew McCutchen’s leadoff homer in the eighth against Manny Parra.

Walker got the winning hit off Hoover (1-2) after consecutive one-out walks to Russell Martin and McCutchen followed by Pedro Alvarez’s popout.

Jared Hughes (1-0) pitched a scoreless, two-hit ninth for the win after being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis earlier in the day.

Cincinnati had taken a 5-4 lead in the eighth when Brandon Phillips and Todd Frazier singled off Francisco Liriano, Jay Bruce hit an RBI double against Justin Wilson and, after an intentional walk to Ryan Ludwick, Devin Mesoraco hit a run-scoring single.

McCutchen and Walker each had three hits for the Pirates, while Mesoraco, Phillps and Frazier had three hits each for Cincinnati. Mesoraco has a hit in all 10 games he’s played this season and is batting .541.

Liriano gave up five runs – four earned – and seven hits in seven-plus innings. Leake allowed eight hits in seven innings.

Cincinnati went ahead in the first when speedy rookie Billy Hamilton was hit on a foot by a pitch, advanced to third on Joey Votto’s soft tapper back to the mound and scored when he beat the throw home on Phillips’ grounder to Alvarez at third.

Phillips and Bruce hit consecutive doubles in the third, and Hamilton’s sacrifice fly in the seventh pulled the Reds to 4-3.

Notes: Boone, playing for Cleveland and Detroit, hit slams against the St. Louis Browns in 1953. Piazza, playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets, hit slams against Arizona. ... Reds LHP Aroldis Chapman is tentatively scheduled to throw batting practice Wednesday, the first time he will face hitters since sustaining facial fractures March 19 when he was hit by a line drive during a spring training game. The closer had a 45-pitch bullpen session Sunday. ... Pirates SS Jordy Mercer was limited to pinch-hitting duty for a third straight day because of soreness in his right ankle. ... Pirates OF Travis Snider had a bruised right eye but passed concussion tests Monday, a day after being punched by Brewers C Martin Maldonado during a brawl. ... Cincinnati RHP Johnny Cueto (1-2, 1.50) faces Pittsburgh RHP Edinson Volquez (1-0, 1.71) tonight.

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