Bucs push win streak to eight

Pittsburgh Pirates' Josh Bell hits an RBI-double off Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 21, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Corey Dickerson hit two first-pitch home runs, rookie Nick Kingham overcame another Cincinnati rain delay to pitch six shutout innings and drive in two runs, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Reds 6-2 Saturday for their season-high eighth straight win.

Dickerson homered on the first pitches he saw from Anthony DeSclafani (4-3) in the third and fifth innings for his seventh career multihomer game, helping the Pirates to their longest winning streak since an eight-game stretch Sept. 19-26, 2015.

Josh Bell added four hits, including a run-scoring double in the fourth, to help send the Reds to their third straight loss, their longest slump since a four-game losing streak June 2-6.

The game was delayed 47 minutes by rain in the middle of the fourth inning, one night after the start was held up 2 hours, 55 minutes.

Kingham allowed just one runner past second base before Curt Casali knocked him out of the game with a two-run homer that just barely reached the left field seats in the seventh.

Kingham (5-4) earned his third win in his last three starts, limiting the Reds to four hits and two runs with three strikeouts and two walks in 6 1/3 innings. He also grounded a two-run single up the middle through a drawn-in infield in the sixth.

Ervin Santana finished the seventh, Kyle Crick pitched a perfect eighth against Reds All-Stars Scooter Gennett, Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez and All-Star Felipe Vazquez escaped a one-out, two-on jam in the ninth.

Dickerson bounced a sharp one-hopper off DeSclafani’s left ankle leading off the game. DeSclafani was able to last 4 1/3 innings, giving up six hits and three runs with two walks and six strikeouts.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli was eligible to be activated from the seven-day concussion disabled list on Saturday, but manager Clint Hurdle said Cervelli had not resumed baseball activities.

Reds: INF Alex Blandino will undergo season-ending surgery on Monday to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. INF-OF Brandon Dixon was recalled from Triple-A Louisville to replace Blandino.

UP NEXT

Pirates: RHP Ivan Nova (5-6) is 3-1 with a 3.51 ERA in seven starts since being reinstated from the disabled list on June 10. He’d been out with a sprained right ring finger.

Reds: Matt Harvey (5-5) is 4-0 over his last five starts. He hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of those appearances.

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