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updated: 9/11/2012 10:07 PM

Reds send Pirates to 5th straight loss

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  • The Pirates' Pedro Alvarez stands at home plate after being called out on strikes to end the top of the eighth inning Tuesday in Cincinnati.

    The Pirates' Pedro Alvarez stands at home plate after being called out on strikes to end the top of the eighth inning Tuesday in Cincinnati.
    Associated Press

Associated Press

CINCINNATI -- Mike Leake pitched seven innings, had a pair of hits and scored on a dash home off a wild pitch Tuesday night, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-3 victory over the fading Pittsburgh Pirates.

Both teams were recovering from their 5-hour, 22-minute game on Monday night, won by the Reds 4-3 in 14 innings.

Leake (8-9) gave up nine hits, including Alex Presley's solo homer and pinch-hitter Gaby Sanchez's two-run shot. Leake singled and eventually scored during a decisive three-run second inning off Kevin Correia (10-9) aided by an error.

Brandon Phillips hit Correia's first pitch of the game for a homer and doubled home another run. Scott Rolen added a solo shot.

The Pirates have lost five in a row and 22 out of 31, falling out of contention in the NL Central. They trail the Reds by a season-high 13 games.

The deep slump also has left them at risk of extending their unmatched streak of futility. The Pirates haven't had a winning record for the last 19 seasons, a record for a North American pro team. The loss on Tuesday dropped them to 72-69.

The division leaders will get by the next few days without closer Aroldis Chapman, who has a tired pitching shoulder. He walked three of the five batters he faced on Monday night, when his velocity was down from 100 mph to the mid-90s.

Jonathan Broxton, acquired from Kansas City at the trade deadline, assumes the role. He pitched the ninth, allowing a hit, for his first save in three tries with the Reds. He had 23 saves with the Royals.

Before the game, Phillips talked to Pirates reliever Jared Hughes to ease hard feelings. Hughes hit Phillips with a pitch on Monday night, and Phillips got the ball and flipped it at the mound. Phillips thought he heard the reliever make a derogatory comment.

On Tuesday, Phillips said they talked and cleared up "a big misunderstanding."

Rolen was back after being out of the starting lineup the last five games with a sore back. He hit his seventh homer of the season in the eighth inning, his first since Aug. 15.

With the score tied at 1, Leake helped himself in the second inning after Dioner Navarro drew a walk. Leake failed to get down a bunt on the first two pitches, then swung away and singled. Phillips' double scored Navarro and sent Leake to third.

When Correia's pitch bounced away from catcher Michael McKenry, Leake dashed home and scored with a hard, feet-first slide. Phillips followed him home when McKenry retrieved the ball and threw wildly to the plate.

That wasn't the end of the Pirates' self-destruction.

With Clint Barmes on second base in the fifth inning, Correia tried to sacrifice but popped up his bunt for an easy out. Brock Holt then singled to right and rounded the base too far -- first baseman Joey Votto cut off the throw and flipped to Phillips covering the base to get Holt.

NOTES: Reds SS Zack Cozart was out of the lineup for a seventh straight game with a strained oblique. ... It was Phillips' fourth career leadoff homer and the fifth by the Reds this season. ... Holt extended his hitting streak to seven games. ... Leake has four multihit games this season and nine for his career. He has 43 hits over the last three seasons, the most by any pitcher in the majors.

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