Reds drop series finale to Pirates, 3-2

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 21, 2013 at 5:32 pm •  Published: July 21, 2013

CINCINNATI (AP) — Since he threw his second no-hitter, Homer Bailey hasn't been a winner. His latest loss wasn't hard to figure.

One infield single won't get anyone very far.

Jeff Locke allowed only an infield hit through six innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat Bailey to salvage the final game of their series with the Cincinnati Reds, 3-2 on Sunday.

Second-place Pittsburgh left town with a three-game cushion over the NL Central-rival Reds, who won the first two games of the series.

Bailey (5-9) struck out a career-high 12 but fell to 0-3 since his no-hitter against San Francisco at Great American Ball Park this month. Garrett Jones hit his second homer in two games, and the Pirates added a pair of runs in the seventh on hits that were barely out of the reach of second baseman Brandon Phillips.

So it goes.

"Homer was dealing," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "That's why I left him out there. He was still throwing hard in the seventh. It's kind of rough when you're throwing the ball like that and you can't get any hits."

The Pirates thought Bailey was even better than when he no-hit them last season at PNC Park.

"That was the best I've ever seen Bailey," Jones said. "His velocity was up, his cutter was nasty and he was hitting his spots well."

The Pirates managed to get a couple of hits in the seventh that made the difference.

"That was probably the most frustrating thing," Bailey said. "I made some good pitches. It just didn't work out. The game of inches got to me."

Locke (9-2) and the majors' second-stingiest bullpen limited the Reds to three singles, but issued seven walks and let a run score on a wild pitch. Jason Grilli worked the ninth for his 30th save in 31 chances. His only blown save came in Cincinnati on June 19.

Locke had to miss his last scheduled start and couldn't pitch in the All-Star game because of a sore back. There were no problems when he got back on the mound.

The Ohio River rivals don't meet again until September, when they play each other six times in the last nine games. Both hope they have a lot at stake when they get back together — the Reds trying for a second straight division title, the Pirates trying to end their 20-year streak of losing records and make the playoffs for the first time since 1992.

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