Jay Bruce hit two solo homers, but James McDonald led the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 5-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds Thursday afternoon at Great American Ballpark, as the Pirates completed a two-game sweep.
McDonald pitched 6.2 innings for the Bucs, striking out four and walking one. Those strikeouts were clumped near the end of his start, as McDonald relied heavily on his fastball to get hitters out.
The Reds took an early lead on Jay Bruce's solo homer in the second inning, but the Pirates scored three in the fifth on Xavier Paul's RBI single and Neil Walker's two-run double. Ryan Doumit then hit a cheap solo homer off Jordan Smith in the sixth, as a ball that would have been an out in most ballparks carried and carried and barely cleared the fence. Andrew McCutchen added an RBI double in the eighth.
The Reds scored again on an RBI single by Joey Votto in the eighth and another solo homer by Bruce in the ninth, but Joel Hanrahan and the Pirates held on for the victory.
The Pirates begin their next series at home against the Detroit Tigers as interleague play begins on Friday.