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Reds vs. Pirates: Bucs clinch 20th straight losing season after blowing lead

The Pittsburgh Pirates led going into the ninth inning, but gave up two runs in the top half and could not come back, losing the series finale, 4-3, to the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday afternoon.

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Pittsburgh Pirates squandered a late lead, giving up two runs in the top of the ninth as they lost to the Cincinnati Reds, 4-3, on Sunday afternoon, and clinched their 20th straight losing season as a result.

The Bucs' latest losing season was among their most disappointing, as they were 16 games above .500 earlier in the season.

Cincinnati scored twice in the top of the ninth on a solo home run by Xavier Paul that tied the game and then an RBI double by Zack Cozart to put the Reds ahead by one.

The Pirates tried to mount a comeback in the bottom of the ninth, putting two runners on base, but the Reds' closer Aroldis Chapman struck out the final two Pittsburgh batters to extinguish the threat and seal the 4-3 victory.

Reliever Sean Marshall recorded the win for Cincinnati, with Chapman getting the save. Joel Hanrahan took the loss for the Pirates.

The Reds scored first in the third inning, jumping out to a 2-0 lead with RBIs from Joey Votto and Todd Frazier. Garrett Jones struck right back for Pittsburgh with a two-run homer in the bottom of the third. The Prates took a 3-2 lead in the next inning on a single by Andrew McCutchen that scored Alex Presley.

Even though they didn't factor in the decision, both starters had strong outings. Wandy Rodriguez struck out seven in six innings of work for Pittsburgh, giving up two earned runs on six hits. Johnny Cueto started and went seven innings for the Reds, giving up just one earned run and striking out six.

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips left the game in the bottom of the sixth inning with a leg injury.

The Pirates (77-82) will host the Atlanta Braves on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. ET in the opening game of the season's final series.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.