PITTSBURGH (AP) — Bryan Price put his faith in Alfredo Simon at the start of the season. The Cincinnati Reds manager has been rewarded — and then some.
Simon became the NL's first 10-game winner and Billy Hamilton had three hits and three RBIs in the Reds' 11-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.
Simon (10-3) allowed three runs on five hits and three walks in 6 1-3 innings to break a tie with the Dodgers' Zack Greinke and Cardinals' Adam Wainwright for the NL lead in victories.
Simon went to spring training as a relief pitcher and moved into the starting rotation when Mat Latos was recovering from elbow and knee surgeries.
"I had a lot of confidence that he would do well as a starter and give us a consistent effort, but I don't think anyone expects to take a pitcher out of the bullpen, put him in the rotation, and see him have 10 wins in the middle of June," Price said. "He's obviously done a great job."
Simon started 16 games with the Baltimore Orioles in 2011, but all 99 of his appearances with the Reds in 2012-13 were in relief.
"It feels really good to have 10 wins, but I have confidence in myself," Simon said. "I felt I could do a really good job and win a lot of games as a starter. I'm thankful for the opportunity and am trying to make the most of it."
Brandon Phillips, Skip Schumaker and Zack Cozart each had two of the Reds' 14 hits in the game, which was delayed 1 hour, 15 minutes by rain in the bottom of the seventh inning. Schumaker also had three RBIs in helping Cincinnati win for the sixth time in seven games.
Pittsburgh's Gregory Polanco went 2 for 4 and became the second player in Pirates' history — joining Spencer Adams (1923) — to have a hit in each of his first eight major league games.
Edinson Volquez (4-6) was tagged for eight runs in 2 2-3 innings after going 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in his previous five starts.
"The game got away from us tonight and we weren't able to recover," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
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