PITTSBURGH (AP) – Chris Heisey hit two home runs, including a tiebreaking shot in the ninth inning, and Johnny Cueto overcame an early jolt to earn his 16th win as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 Sunday.
Heisey’s solo drive with one out in the ninth off Jared Hughes (6-5) helped the Reds avoid getting swept at PNC Park. Heisey began the day with just five homers in 229 at-bats this year.
Cueto (16-8) gave up a home run to Josh Harrison on his first pitch of the game. Jordy Mercer homered off Cueto in the second for a 2-0 lead.
Cueto wound up pitching eight innings and tied Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw for the major league lead in victories. Cueto worked around nine hits, striking out six and walking one.
Aroldis Chapman struck two in a perfect ninth for his 29th save.
Heisey tied at 2 in the fifth, connecting after Ryan Ludwick drew a leadoff walk from Francisco Liriano.
Liriano cruised through his first four innings, throwing an efficient 43 pitches before he ran into trouble in the fifth. Cincinnati’s first hit off Liriano didn’t come until Todd Frazier singled with two outs in the fourth.
Liriano threw a season-high 111 pitches over seven innings. He gave up two runs, five hits, three walks and struck out five.
Reds: C Devin Mesoraco and OF Jay Bruce were out of the starting lineup. Bruce came in as a defensive replacement in the ninth.
Pirates: RHP Charlie Morton (hip) threw a bullpen session before the game. He made a rehab start Thursday for Double-A Altoona. … RHP Stolmy Pimentel (ankle) is nearing a return after throwing two innings for Altoona on Friday. … 1B-3B Pedro Alvarez (foot sprain) began hitting off a tee. … OF Travis Snider (hamstring) has not played since Wednesday and is still day-to-day.
Reds: After an off-day, Cincinnati starts a three-game set at Baltimore on Tuesday night. RHP Mat Latos (5-3, 3.15 ERA) opens for the Reds against RHP Bud Norris (11-8, 4.00).
Pirates: Pittsburgh begins a 10-game road trip Monday with a three-game series in St. Louis. RHP Gerrit Cole (7-4, 3.65) opposes Cardinals RHP Lance Lynn (14-8, 2.79) in a rematch of the matchup that the Pirates won 5-2 on Aug. 26.