Backup catcher Michael McKenry had the first two-homer game of his four-year major league career and Starling Marte hit a tiebreaking two-run drive in a six-run eighth inning Sunday, helping the Pittsburgh Pirates rally from a five-run deficit for a 10-7 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
Cincinnati has lost five straight, its longest slide since last Aug. 5-9. The Pirates swept the Reds for the first time since April 16-18, 2010, in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh trailed 5-0 when McKenry homered off Mat Latos leading off the seventh. Travis Snider’s RBI double off the top of the right-field wall — upheld after a video review — chased Latos, Andrew McCutchen doubled in a run against Logan Ondrusek and pinch-hitter Gaby Sanchez had an RBI single off Manny Parra.
Jack Hannahan’s pinch RBI single off Jared Hughes (1-0) boosted Cincinnati’s lead to 6-4 in the eighth, but Jonathan Broxton (0-1) walked Pedro Alvarez leading off the bottom half and McKenry’s second homer tied it. Jose Tabata walked with one out, and Marte’s first home run of the season gave the Pirates an 8-6 lead.
Pitcher Jonathan Sanchez pinch hit for Hughes and reached on Broxton’s third walk of the inning and scored on Gaby Sanchez’s sacrifice fly. Neil Walker added an RBI single.
Pittsburgh’s three homers doubled its total this season. The Pirates have scored 32 runs during a 5-1 spurt after scoring eight in a 1-5 start.
The two homers and six runs allowed tied career highs for Broxton, a nine-year veteran.
Walker had three hits for Pittsburgh, while Snider hit two doubles and Marte and McCutchen had two hits each.
Cincinnati’s Brandon Phillips drove in three runs on a pair of singles, a day after attending his grandfather’s funeral.
Cincinnati’s Shin-Soo Choo had two hits and has reached base in all 12 games this season. Todd Frazier broke an 0-for-16 slump with a third-inning single and Chris Heisey ended a string of 14 hitless at-bats with a single in the second.
The Reds’ Joey Votto led off the ninth with his first home run since June 24. He also drew three walks.
Pirates starter Phil Irwin had a rocky major-league debut after being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis before the game to replace left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, who straining his left hamstring Monday.
A 21st-round draft pick from the University of Mississippi in 2009, Irwin allowed five runs — four earned — six hits and four walks in 4 2-3 innings while striking out four.
Latos gave up three runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings. He is 4-0 with a 2.55 ERA in 10 starts dating to August and has 48 strikeouts in 45 innings during seven career starts against the Pirates.
NOTES: The Reds are not expected to update RHP Johnny Cueto’s injury status until Monday; he left Saturday night’s game in the fifth inning with a strained right triceps. A 19-game winner last season, was to be examined by team doctors in Cincinnati late Sunday afternoon. ... Pittsburgh optioned INF/OF Josh Harrison to Indianapolis to open a roster spot for Irwin. ... Heisey was dropped from second to seventh in the batting order. ... Cincinnati opens a three-game home series against Philadelphia on Monday night with RHP Bronson Arroyo (1-1, 5.25) facing LHP Cliff Lee (2-0, 1.08). ... RHP James McDonald (1-1, 3.75) will start for the Pirates on Monday when they begin a three-game series against St. Louis and RHP Lance Lynn (1-0, 4.50).