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Nady gets first homer with Pirates in win over Reds

CINCINNATI (AP) -- The Pittsburgh Pirates saw something new from
Xavier Nady on Friday night -- a home run.

Nady hit his first homer for the Pirates, a three-run shot that
led Ian Snell and Pittsburgh over the Cincinnati Reds 7-3.

"We were talking before the game about how I haven't hit one
for the Pirates," said Nady, acquired from the New York Mets on
July 31 for pitchers Oliver Perez and Roberto Hernandez.

"I said, 'I hope I get it out of the way. You don't want to
start changing your swing and getting into bad habits.' When you
haven't hit one in a while, you tend to start pressing and changing
your swing," he said.

The last-place Pirates improved to 17-15 since the All-Star
break and sent Cincinnati to its third loss in four games. The Reds
began the day leading the NL wild-card race.

"I think everybody knows Pittsburgh is much better than their
record," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "They've played a
tremendous number of close games."

Nady tied his career high with four hits. Jack Wilson homered
for Pittsburgh and Freddy Sanchez raised his league-leading batting
average to .351 with four hits.

Snell (11-8) was roughed up for 10 hits and four runs at
Cincinnati in his first appearance of the year on April 6. This
time, he allowed four hits and one run in seven innings, striking
out five and walking four.

Snell's 11 wins are three more than anyone else on the Pirates'
staff and one more than the team-high 10 recorded by Dave Williams
last season.

"I had to keep the ball down," Snell said. "The strike zone
was small, but the umpire was consistent. It was small for both
sides. I told myself to stop throwing like a little girl -- to stop
trying to place the ball. I told myself before the game to try to
place the ball. The last time I pitched here, I tried to overpower
everybody, and it didn't work."

The Pirates took a 2-0 lead in the second against Chris Michalak
(1-1), making his first major league start since 2001 with Toronto.
Nady scored on a balk and Snell had an RBI grounder.

Snell later got his first career extra-base hit in 49 at-bats, a
double in the seventh. By then, he had enough support.

"In the early going, he had trouble locating his fastball for
strikes," Narron said. "He settled down and pitched really well
after they scored some runs for him."

Javier Valentin homered and hit an RBI single for the Reds.
Edwin Encarnacion added his 14th homer and sixth in his last seven
games.

Sanchez and Jason Bay singled with one out in the third. Nady
followed with his 15th home run of the season, and first in 15
games for Pittsburgh.

"That three-run homer by Nady was as big an at-bat as we've had
of late," Pittsburgh manager Jim Tracy said. "We were talking
before the game about how we've had a lot solo home runs, and to
get one with runners on base is really big."

The Pirates loaded the bases with no outs against Michalak in
the fifth. Reliever Bill Bray walked Jose Castillo with one out to
force home a run.

Michalak, who got the win in relief last Saturday in his first
major league appearance since 2002, allowed nine hits and six runs.

"My location wasn't as good as I needed it to be, or as
consistent as I needed it to be," Michalak said. "I made some
decent pitches, but I wasn't able to consistently make the pitches
I made the other night."

Wilson led off the sixth with his eighth homer of the season and
first in 46 games.

Game notes
Sanchez extended his hitting streak to 10 games (18-for-37,
.486). ... CF Ken Griffey Jr. went 2-for-3 to extend his hitting
streak to five games (9-for-19, .474). He bunted up the third-base
line for a single in the third inning. ... Reds 1B Scott Hatteberg
went 0-for-4, extending his season-high hitless streak to 16
at-bats. ... LHP Scott Schoeneweis pitched the seventh in his first
appearance for the Reds since being acquired from Toronto on
Wednesday.