The Pittsburgh Pirates finished the Reds final homestand with a three game sweep including a 4-2 victory on Sunday at Great American Ballpark to hand Cincinnati its fifth straight loss.
The Reds (90-72) haven't won since Monday against New York and with the loss on Saturday will head to Pittsburgh on Tuesday for a one-game playoff to decide who will advance to the Division Series. The winner of that contest will face a very familiar opponent in the NL Central Division Champs, St. Louis, on Thursday.
With Sunday's game holding no significance, Dusty Baker opted to pitch Greg Reynolds (1-3) instead of Johnny Cueto. Instead Cueto will pitch on Tuesday against Francisco Liriano after it was announced that Mat Latos will not be available until the Division Series at the earliest. Clint Hurdle also switched his pitcher and sent Brandon Cumpton (2-1) instead of Gerrit Cole.
The Pirates (94-68) got to Reynolds early when John Buck singled in Jose Tabata in the first inning. Pittsburgh added another run when Jay Bruce attempted to make a diving catch and instead the ball rolled all the way to the wall allowing Jordy Mercer to round the bases for an inside the park home run. Cincinnati native, Josh Harrison added an RBI single in the fourth inning for the final run off Reynolds.
Meanwhile, Cumpton dominated the Reds allowing just two hits in five innings. Stolmy Pimentel came in and kept the Reds off the base paths for the next two innings. The Pirates added an insurance run when Garrett Jones homered off Nick Christiani to make it 4-0.
The Reds attempted a comeback against Jeanmar Gomez in the eighth. Derrick Robinson opened the inning with a pinch hit single and then Cesar Izturis ripped a ground rule double to put runners at second and third. Veteran catcher Corky Miller followed with a two-run double and then advanced to third on a sac bunt by Billy Hamilton. After a Xavier Paul walk, Neftali Soto bounced into an inning ending double play. Kyle Farnsworth worked a 1-2-3 inning in the ninth to finish off the final game of the regular season.
The Reds now head to PNC Park where they are 4-5 this season, but are 8-11 against the Pirates overall this season. First pitch is set for 8:07 p.m.