Brandon Drury drilled his team-leading seventh homer and drove in four while Mike Moustakas homered twice to power the suddenly hot Cincinnati Reds over the host Pittsburgh Pirates, 8-2, Friday night.
Cincinnati starter Tyler Mahle (2-4) overcame a leadoff homer to allow only two runs and five hits, striking out a season-high eight and walking one for the Reds, who won a season-best third straight. The Reds have won four of five from the Pirates and six of their last seven games overall.
After opening the season with 31 starts of under six innings for the first time in modern history, Mahle gave the Reds their second straight start of at least six innings.
The Pirates jumped out to an immediate lead over Mahle when Ben Gamel jumped on a 1-1 fastball and drilled it over the 21-foot fence in right for a leadoff homer.
Mahle settled down and retired the next eight batters, before Gamel singled to right with two outs in the third.
After two hitless innings from Pittsburgh starter Mitch Keller (0-5), Tyler Naquin opened the third with a sharp line-drive double off the right field wall. Kyle Farmer followed with a run-scoring double to right, tying the game at 1-1. Farmer later scored on a TJ Friedl sacrifice fly to left to give the Reds a 2-1 lead.
Keller was charged with five runs on five hits in 4 2/3 innings, striking out two and walking two, taking his fifth loss in seven starts this season. Keller fell to 1-4 lifetime against Cincinnati, with a 7.36 ERA in 10 career starts.
Following Gamel’s single in the third, Ke’Bryan Hayes drove him home with the tying run on a double.
The tie game didn’t last long as Moustakas drilled his second homer of the season to right, a solo homer putting the Reds ahead, 3-2, in the fourth.
The Reds added to their lead in the fifth against Keller when Drury doubled home Naquin and Friedl for a 5-2 advantage. The hit snapped Drury’s 0-for-14 drought since a home run Monday night against Milwaukee.
Drury added a two-run shot to left in the seventh off Heath Hembree, and Moustakas followed one out later with his second of the game. The drive — estimated at 427 feet to right-center — gave Cincinnati an 8-2 lead.