Rookie Nick Kingham pitched effectively into the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates extended their winning streak to a season-high eight games with a 6-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds Saturday night at Great American Ball Park.
Corey Dickerson hit solo homers on consecutive pitches in consecutive at-bats as the Pirates also won for the 10th time in 11 games. He homered in the third inning and again in the fifth off Anthony DeSclafani (4-3). It was Dickerson’s eighth career multi-homer game and second in Cincinnati.
In his 10th career start, Kingham (5-4) allowed a two-run homer to backup catcher Curt Casali among four hits. He won his third straight start, threw first-pitch strikes to 16 of 25 hitters and reached the seventh inning for the fourth time.
Kingham also helped himself with a two-run single as the Pirates beat the Reds for the eighth time in 12 meetings. Josh Bell added an RBI with a double in the fourth, and Sean Rodriguez scored on a wild pitch by Jared Hughes in the eighth after reaching on a bunt single.
Kingham was lifted after allowing Casali’s homer into the first row of the left-field seats. Three relievers combined to blank the Reds the rest of the way.
Felipe Vazquez hit Casali in the elbow with one out in the ninth, putting runners at first and second, but he regrouped quickly and easily finished off the win.
The Reds dropped their third straight game as they mustered six hits. All-Stars Scooter Gennett, Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez were a combined 0-for-11.
DeSclafani lost his second straight start after winning four straight decisions. He allowed three runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings and turned in his second-shortest outing of the season.
Dickerson homered for the third straight game with two outs in the third when he lifted a first-pitch breaking ball over the center-field fence and onto the back patch of grass adjacent to the seats.
The Pirates took a 2-0 lead on Bell’s double to right in the fourth, and play was halted before the bottom of the inning when heavy rain started falling.
Dickerson made it 3-0 when he opened the fifth by launching DeSclafani’s first-pitch fastball over the right-field fence.
The Pirates extended their lead to 5-0 in the sixth inning when Kingham singled just past shortstop Jose Peraza’s diving attempt with the infield pulled in on the grass.
--Field Level Media