The Pittsburgh Pirates clinched their series against the NL Central-leading Reds on Thursday night with a 5-4 win in extra innings. The Bucs took a one-run lead into the bottom of the ninth but Joel Hanrahan gave up a home run to Ryan Ludwick which evened it up at 4-4. Undeterred, the Bucs came back in the top of the tenth and went ahead by a run. With the hard-throwing and nearly unhittable Aroldis Chapman on the hill, the Bucs led off the inning with back-to-back doubles. First, it was Clint Barmes, who had a big night in the first game of the series and started it with a ground rule double. Matt McKenry followed that up with a double to right center that knocked in Barmes for the winning run.
In the lead-off spot, Alex Presley had another impressive night at the plate, going two for five and scoring two runs. Both Garrett Jones and McKenry knocked in two runs apiece. McKenry put the Bucs ahead on two separate occasions, in the seventh and then for good in the 10th.
The Bucs nearly blew it again in the 10th but Chris Resop got out of an early jam to erase a lead-off double by Joey Votto. Two games over .500 and two games back in the standings, the Pirates now return home to begin a stretch of interleague play. They host the Kansas City Royals on Friday night with Erik Bedard on the mound.
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