Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

Pittsburgh leads 1-0 (as of 5/16)

Game 1: Tuesday, May 16
Cincinnati3Final
Pittsburgh9
Game 2: Wednesday, May 17
Cincinnati2Final
Pittsburgh7
Game 3: Thursday, May 18
Cincinnati9Final
Pittsburgh8

Reds 3

(23-16, 11-8 away)

Pirates 9

(12-27, 9-10 home)

    7:05 PM ET, May 16, 2006

    PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

    123456789 R H E
    CIN 000000030 3 7 1
    PIT 00403002 - 9 13 0

    W: P. Maholm (2-4)

    L: A. Harang (5-2)

    Maholm, Burnitz help Bucs leave Cincy seeing red

    PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Paul Maholm wasn't bothered by the rain, the field conditions or the ongoing losing. The Cincinnati Reds might not be able to say the same thing.

    Maholm took a shutout into the eighth inning and Jeromy Burnitz came out of an extended slump to drive in four runs, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 9-3 victory over the still-slumping Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.

    The Reds lost their fourth in a row and eighth in 12 games, a slide that dropped them out of first place in the NL Central. They have scored no more than one run in seven of those 12 games, prompting manager Jerry Narron to call a postgame meeting.

    "I believe in these guys, and I know we've gotten off to a better start than most people expected, and a lot of people expect us to fall off the face of the earth," Narron said. "But these guys are going to keep grinding and battling and, at some point, we're going to come out of this thing and run together some wins."

    The Reds have run into a string of rainy days for the last week and haven't gotten their usual pregame fielding and batting practice. But Narron doesn't want them using that for an excuse.

    "The field was a mess, and it's been a difficult week," Narron said. "It's tough mentally to just sit around, you don't know if you're going to play or if the game will get started on time. But the one thing we really do as a club is to make sure we are mentally prepared and locked in early."

    However, Reds starter Aaron Harang was bothered by the chilly rain, saying, "This weather is tough to pitch in. It's tough to stay up when you've got this kind of weather out there."

    Maholm (2-4) didn't seem to be bothered, giving up five hits in 7 1-3 innings. He gave up singles to Felipe Lopez and Edwin Encarnacion to start the game, but got out of that early jam by picking Lopez off second base and striking out Ken Griffey Jr. and Austin Kearns. The left-hander went on to strike out eight.

    "I could pretty much throw any pitch I wanted to throw, so they couldn't sit back and wait for a pitch," Maholm said.

    The Reds didn't score until former Pirates catcher David Ross hit his second career pinch-hit homer, a two-run drive in the eighth that brought on reliever Salomon Torres. Lopez followed with a solo homer off Torres.

    Burnitz has been booed repeatedly during recent home games as his average dropped to .185 during a 3-for-36 slump. But he had an RBI double in a four-run third inning against Harang (5-2), then added a three-run double to chase Harang in the fifth.

    "It always feels a little better when you haven't been going up there and doing much damage," Burnitz said. "It wasn't so much having patience but having experience. I've done it before. I've had a track record."

    Burnitz's four RBI were only one fewer than the five he had in his previous 13 games combined.

    "Once we set the stage tonight, we took good at-bats and that's what we've been missing," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. 'Maybe this will help get our club going in the right direction."

    Jose Bautista, called up from the minors 10 days ago, had an RBI single among his two hits, walked twice and scored two runs while reaching base four times. The Pirates won for only the 12th time in 39 games.

    Harang had won five in a row, but hurt himself by making an errant throw to second base on Maholm's bunt in the third after Jose Castillo singled. Bautista singled to drive in the first run of the game, and Freddy Sanchez hit a sacrifice fly ahead of the consecutive doubles by Jason Bay and Burnitz.

    Harang also got himself into trouble by walking Bautista, Nate McLouth and Sanchez in succession to start the fifth before Burnitz hit his second double.

    Game notes


    The rain returned during the final four innings, but the umpires did not stop play. ... Harang had been 6-2 against Pittsburgh. ... Lopez is 21-for-42 in his last 10 games. ... Cincinnati is 14-8 against the NL Central; Pittsburgh is 5-17. ... Bay has 18 RBI in 21 games against the Reds the last two seasons. .. The two teams played their second game in as many days in as many cities. They were rained out after playing two-plus innings in the Hall of Fame exhibition game in Cooperstown, N.Y., on Monday. ... The Pirates averaged 2.75 runs in Maholm's first seven starts, the third worst run support for any starter in the majors. ... The gametime temperature on an unseasonably cool mid-May night was 53.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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