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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: Sports - Local Sports - Negron hits 1st homer in Reds' 6-3 win over Bucs

Negron hits 1st homer in Reds' 6-3 win over Bucs

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Kris Negron hit his first career home run, and All-Star Todd Frazier added a two-run shot as the Cincinnati Reds rolled into the break with a 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

Negron, who was called up from Triple-A Louisville on Thursday for his first appearance in the majors since playing four games in 2012, celebrated his first major league start with a three-run, opposite-field homer to right off of Francisco Liriano in the second inning. The RBIs were also the first of his career, and the hit was his second.

Frazier lined a drive just inside the right-field foul pole on the first pitch from Vance Worley in the sixth to help the Pirates finish 2-5 on their road trip.

The Reds went 8-3 on their 11-game homestand against Milwaukee, the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh to finish the first half 10-0-1 in series against those Central Division-opponents. They are 0-3 in series against St. Louis.

Johnny Cueto, another Reds All-Star, overcame Neil Walker's home run and a 56-minute rain delay in the fifth to last six innings. Cueto (10-6) allowed five hits and three runs with two walks and seven strikeouts. He also hit a batter.

Jubo Diaz pitched the seventh, and Jonathan Broxton worked the eighth before Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth for his 21st save.

Chapman's fanning of leadoff batter Pedro Alvarez extended his record strikeout streak to 41 appearances.

Liriano's start was his first since June 10 against Chicago, when he strained his left oblique strain. He tied his season high by issuing six walks for the second time in three starts.

Liriano (1-7) lasted four innings, allowing three hits and three runs with four strikeouts and a wild pitch. He left the bases loaded in two of his four innings.

Two of Pittsburgh's All-Stars got the Pirates on the board. Andrew McCutchen tripled and scored the Pirates' first run on Walker's groundout in the fourth. All-Star backup Josh Harrison made it a one-run game with an RBI single in the fifth.

Devin Mesoraco drove in Jay Bruce from first base with a double off the left-center field wall in the fifth, but Walker snapped a 0-for-12 slump with his 13th homer leading off the sixth.

NOTES: The Pirates optioned INF Matt Hague to Triple-A Indianapolis to make room for Liriano. ... Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Liriano will start Pittsburgh's first game after the break on Friday at home against Colorado. ... According to Elias Sports Bureau, as reported by the Pirates, McCutchen on Saturday became the first player in franchise history to hit tying and go-ahead home runs in the ninth inning or later of the same game. ... Reds IF Ramon Santiago was available but his left shoulder was sore after his attempt at a diving backhand stop of Travis Snider's grounder on Saturday. ... Reds RHP Alfredo Simon was named to the NL All-Star team as an injury replacement.Negron hits 1st homer in Reds' 6-3 win over Bucs

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Ohio Sports

BREWERS-REDS

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Johnny Cueto pitched seven solid innings, and the Cincinnati Reds stayed in the chase for the NL's top record by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 on Tuesday night after learning they'll be without their manager for the rest of the week.

The Brewers dropped back-to-back games for the first time in more than a month, and it came at a bad time. They started the day 3 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the final NL wild card spot.

They got no break from the Reds, who clinched the NL Central title on Saturday night.

Manager Dusty Baker met players before the game and revealed he suffered a mini-stroke in addition to being treated for an irregular heartbeat last week. The 63-year-old manager hopes to return to the dugout next week.

REDS-BAKER

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Dusty Baker won't manage the Cincinnati Reds until the final series in St. Louis, giving him time to recover from an irregular heartbeat that left him hospitalized last week.

Baker met with owner Bob Castellini and his team on Tuesday before a game against the Brewers. Bench coach Chris Speier said he'll manage the final three home games against Milwaukee and three in Pittsburgh over the weekend, with Baker taking over for the last three games next week.

The 63-year-old manager was hospitalized in Chicago last Wednesday for an irregular heartbeat, a problem he's had for a while. He was in the hospital for four days, missing the Reds' 6-0 win over the Dodgers on Saturday night that clinched the NL Central title.

INDIANS-WHITE SOX

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago White Sox have lost sole possession of first place in the AL Central race, with the Indians playing spoiler. Gordon Beckham hit into a game-ending forceout with the potential tying run on second base yesterday as the Indians downed the White Sox 4-3.

Down 4-0 in the fourth inning, the White Sox closed within a run when Paul Konerko homered off Chris Perez leading off the ninth. Perez walked a pair of batters with two outs, and Beckham grounded to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who threw to second baseman Jason Kipnis for the force.

Chicago (82-72) had held sole possession of the division lead since September 3. Detroit pulled into a tie for the division lead with its win over Kansas City last night.

T25-OHIO ST-MATCHING UP

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Through four games and four victories, Ohio State's defense has faced a continual drumbeat of short passes, quick routes, screens and sweeps.

Every opponent, it seems, has relied on a sleight of hand.

Now the Buckeyes are looking forward to getting into familiar territory when they open Big Ten play.

When No. 14 Ohio State travels to 20th-ranked Michigan State on Saturday, the Buckeyes anticipate they'll run into a more conventional Midwestern attack. Granted, that means having to counteract the 244-pound blasts of the Spartans' massive Le'Veon Bell.

But after a month of chasing people, the Buckeyes think they might benefit from a change of pace from the subterfuge and rush-avoiding quick-hitters in a trade for raw man-on-man power struggles at the line of scrimmage.

T25-UPTIGHT SPARTANS

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan State's lackluster win last weekend got to coach Mark Dantonio.

After the Spartans beat Eastern Michigan 23-7 Saturday, Dantonio hurried through a terse news conference full of abrupt answers. The Michigan State coach said "next question" seven times in under a minute and was clearly annoyed with the way his team played.

On Tuesday, Dantonio spoke with reporters for around a half-hour, but Michigan State isn't making any players or assistants available this week. The Spartans' coach is trying to send a clear message to his players that it's time to get serious.

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