Pedro Alvarez was a one-man wrecking crew, as his home run and five RBIs for the Pirates sent Cincinnati to a 5-3 loss on Thursday afternoon at Great American Ball Park.
The teams split their four-game series, and the Reds completed a 4-3 homestand as they embark on an eight-game, 10-day road trip.
It was a 2-2 game when Reds reliever Alfredo Simon took over for the seventh. Simon's first two batters -- relief pitcher Bryan Morris and Starling Marte -- both singled. After Jordy Mercer popped out on a bunt attempt, Simon walked Andrew McCutchen to load the bases.
Lefty Tony Cingrani was called in for the second time in two days to take on the left-handed middle of the Pirates' order. In an eight-pitch barrage of fastballs that featured four foul balls, Cingrani struck out Garrett Jones on a 95-mph pitch. Cingrani was not as fortunate against Alvarez.
A 94-mph 0-1 pitch from Cingrani was ripped to right field for a double that cleared the bases and gave Pittsburgh a 5-2 lead. Cincinnati added a run in the bottom half when Zack Cozart hit a leadoff double against Morris and scored on a Jack Hannahan groundout.
Cincinnati scored in the first inning after leadoff batter Shin-Soo Choo reached on Alvarez's throwing error and stole second base. Choo scored on Joey Votto's single to left for a 1-0 lead.
Reds starter Homer Bailey had two outs in the third when McCutchen rolled a single into left field. Bailey had two strikes on the next two batters, but couldn't retire either. Jones hit a single to left field and Alvarez lined an RBI single to right to make it a 1-1 game.
Upon finishing the fourth inning, Bailey was already at 85 pitches.
With two outs in the fourth, Jay Bruce lasered a 3-2 pitch off Bucs starter Brandon Cumpton over the center-field fence for a solo homer and a 2-1 Reds lead. It was Bruce's team-leading 15th homer, his fifth in seven games and third solo shot in the four-game series.
A 10-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth had Bailey at 95 pitches and able to return for the sixth. But Alvarez tied the game by hitting a 1-1 pitch into the right-field seats for his 16th homer of the year.
Bailey gave up two runs and six hits over six innings, with no walks and eight strikeouts.