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Saturday, September 21, 2013 12:46 AM

Associated Press

Reds 6, Pirates 5, 10 innings.

PITTSBURGH — Joey Votto homered off Kyle Farnsworth in the 10th inning and the Cincinnati Reds edged Pittsburgh 6-5 Friday night to pull even with the Pirates for the top wild-card spot in the National League.

Cincinnati pushed across three unearned runs in the ninth off Pittsburgh closer Mark Melancon to tie it and Votto won it an inning later when his fly to left field reached the first row of seats for his 24th homer of the season.

JJ Hoover (5-5) earned the win for the Reds, who have won four straight. Aroldis Chapman worked the 10th for his 38th save.

Farnsworth (1-1) retired Brandon Phillips to start the 10th but leftfielder Starling Marte couldn’t quite grab Votto’s shot down the line and the Reds started a pivotal 3-game series with a stunning victory.

The Pirates appeared firmly in control through eight innings. Francisco Liriano overwhelmed the Reds, allowing two runs on three hits, walking three and striking out seven. The left-hander needed only 94 pitches to record 24 outs but was pulled in the ninth for Melancon, who has been outstanding most of the season.

Melancon sandwiched outs around a single by Ryan Ludwick before things started to unravel. Todd Frazier reached when shortstop Jordy Mercer threw a routine grounder into the stands, scoring Ludwick. Zach Cozart singled to put runners on the corners. Cincinnati rookie base-stealing specialist Billy Hamilton pinch-ran for Cozart and promptly swiped second, then raced home when Devin Mesoraco’s sharp grounder ping-ponged onto the grass in shallow left field.

Votto took care of the rest as Cincinnati climbed out of third place in the heated NL Central race for the first time in three months.

Indians 2, Astros 1, 6 1/2 innings

CLEVELAND — Zach McAllister lasted five innings and the Cleveland Indians got two gift runs from Houston in a 2-1, rain-shortened victory over the Astros on Friday night to remain near the top of the AL wild-card standings.

The game was delayed for 1 hour, 9 minutes before the umpires decided to call it after 6 1/2 innings.

The Indians, who entered the night trailing both Tampa Bay and Texas by one-half game for a wild-card spot, scored an unearned run in the second and fourth innings off Brett Oberholtzer (4-4).

McAllister (9-9) allowed just one run and got a key double play in the fifth. Bryan Shaw went 1 1/3 innings for his first save.

 

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