PITTSBURGH (AP) – Alfredo Simon became the NL’s first 10-game winner and Billy Hamilton had three hits and three RBIs in the Cincinnati Reds’ 11-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.
Simon (10-3) allowed three runs on five hits and three walks in 6 1-3 innings to break a tie with the Dodgers’ Zack Greinke and Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright for the NL lead in victories.
Simon went to spring training as a relief pitcher and moved into the starting rotation when Mat Latos was recovering from elbow and knee surgeries.
Brandon Phillips, Skip Schumaker and Zack Cozart each had two of the Reds’ 14 hits in the game, which was delayed 1 hour, 15 minutes by rain in the bottom of the seventh inning. Schumaker also had three RBIs in helping Cincinnati win for the sixth time in seven games.
Pittsburgh’s Gregory Polanco went 2 for 4 and became the second player in Pirates’ history – joining Spencer Adams (1923) – to have a hit in each of his first eight major league games.
Edinson Volquez (4-6) was tagged for eight runs in 2 2/3 innings after going 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in his previous five starts.
Pirates reserve outfielder Travis Snider pitched the ninth inning in his first major league appearance on the mound. He allowed two runs on a double by Hamilton and a groundout by Todd Frazier, but struck out 2010 NL MVP Joey Votto on a 2-2 changeup to end the inning.
Andrew McCutchen had his 12-game hitting streak end as he went 0 for 3 before being pulled after six innings with Pittsburgh trailing 9-1. Starling Marte had two hits and two RBIs while running his hitting streak to nine games.
The Reds broke open the game in the third inning, sending 12 men to the plate.
Phillips doubled in the first run and another scored on a wild pitch by Volquez before Schumaker and Cozart hit consecutive RBI singles to make it 5-0.
The Reds’ next run came on a disputed call and resulted in the ejection of Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle. Simon hit a nubber to the left of the mound with the bases loaded that right-hander Stolmy Pimentel, who had just relieved Volquez, made a diving play on then flipped the ball to catcher Russell Martin at home plate for an apparent force out on Devin Mesoraco.
Mesoraco, however, was ruled safe following a 3-minute, 33-second video review in which it was determined that Martin had illegally blocked home plate.
Hamilton followed with a two-run single that capped the inning and increased Cincinnati’s lead to 8-0.
In the fourth, Mesoraco doubled and scored on a single by Schumaker.
The Pirates scored in the fifth when Polanco knocked in Pedro Alvarez, who hit a leadoff double. Marte drove in a run in the sixth inning with a fielder’s choice and Jose Tabata hit a sacrifice fly as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and added an RBI single in the ninth.
Pirates RHP Gerrit Cole threw a 60-pitch simulated game Wednesday the first time he faced batters since going on the 15-day disabled list June 4 with right shoulder fatigue. . Cincinnati RF Ryan Ludwick was rested despite going 7 for 12 in the previous three games. He was replaced by Schumaker. . Reds RHP Homer Bailey (7-3, 4.68) faces LHP Jeff Locke (0-1, 3.96) in the finale of the three-gamer series on Thursday.