CINCINNATI (AP) — Colin Moran hit a grand slam and a two-run homer against his former team, powering the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.
Tyler Mahle pitched five solid innings and the Reds rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the sixth. Cincinnati took two of three in the weekend series, improving the majors’ worst record to 5-23.
The Reds had lost nine straight and 20 of 21 before winning the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. Friday night’s game was rained out.
Moran’s bases-loaded drive to right field in the sixth gave Cincinnati a 5-2 lead. He homered to center with Kyle Farmer on first base in the eighth, giving him six RBIs in a game for the first time in his career. They were his first two home runs this season.
Moran spent the past four seasons with Pittsburgh after arriving from Houston in a trade for Gerrit Cole. He signed with the Reds in March and has started the last six games at first base with slugger Joey Votto on the COVID-19 injured list. Moran began the day batting .184 with one extra-base hit this year.
Mahle allowed only one hit, a two-run homer by Michael Perez in the second. Art Warren (1-1) struck out three in two scoreless innings for the win.
Pirates right-hander Zach Thompson also turned in a fine outing, shutting out the Reds through five innings. He permitted two hits and struck out six in his best start of the season.
But in the Cincinnati sixth, Brandon Drury reached on a bloop single against reliever Dillon Peters (3-1), who walked the next three batters to force in a run.
Heath Hembree came in for Pittsburgh and struck out Farmer before serving up a 2-1 fastball that Moran crushed into the right-field seats.
Moran homered again in the eighth off Chase De Jong.
Pirates: Right-hander Duane Underwood Jr. (hamstring strain) threw 34 pitches while tossing two scoreless innings in a rehab appearance at Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday.
Reds: Manager David Bell said Votto and OF Nick Senzel are at least a couple of days from returning to the lineup. Both are on the COVID-19 injured list.
The Reds selected the contract of right-hander Joel Kuhnel from Triple-A and designated right-hander Robert Dugger for assignment.
Pirates: Head home and send José Quintana (0-1, 3.38 ERA) to the mound against fellow left-hander Julio Urías (2-1, 1.88) and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the opener of a three-game set Monday night.
Cincinnati: RHP Luis Castillo is scheduled to make his 2022 debut Monday night against RHP Brandon Woodruff (3-1, 5.18) in the opener of a three-game series with Milwaukee. Castillo has been out with a right shoulder strain.