Series: Game 2 of 4

Series tied 1-1 (as of 9/16)

Game 1: Monday, September 15
Game 2: Tuesday, September 16
Game 3: Wednesday, September 17
Game 4: Thursday, September 18

Reds 12

(65-86, 32-44 away)

Pirates 4

(69-81, 35-40 home)

    7:05 PM ET, September 16, 2003

    PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

    123456789 R H E
    CIN 012010143 12 17 3
    PIT 100010200 4 8 2

    W: A. Harang (5-5)

    L: O. Perez (4-9)

    S: B. Reith (1)

    Cincinnati 12, Pittsburgh 4

    PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Ryan Freel could hardly wait to get back in the lineup, and it certainly showed.

    Freel, who missed 12 games with a strained right hamstring, had a career-high four hits as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 12-4 on Tuesday night.

    "It was miserable being out," he said. "I was finally getting a chance, and then just knowing I could be out there playing but having to sit and watch these guys was very frustrating."

    Freel went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBI as part of the Reds' 17-hit attack.

    "A lot of guys here are battling for next year,' the outfielder said. "Nothing's going to be given to me, and I have to go out there and still open up some eyes."

    Freel hit .278 while starting 10 consecutive games before being injured in a game at Milwaukee. He said he felt nervous Tuesday, but it didn't show as he singled in his first two at-bats and homered off Oliver Perez (4-9) to lead off the fifth inning.

    "That's what he's capable of doing, and it's what he was doing before he got hurt," Reds manager Dave Miley said. "It was like he didn't miss a beat. He and (D'Angelo) Jimenez did a heck of a job."

    Jimenez added three hits and drove in three runs, and Wily Mo Pena homered for Cincinnati, which had lost five of its previous six road games.

    Aaron Harang (4-2), who hadn't pitched since straining his lower back Sept. 5, scattered four hits over five innings. Brian Reith earned his first career save with 2 1-3 scoreless innings.

    "I was just trying to throw strikes and make some good pitches," said Harang, who retired 10 consecutive hitters during one stretch before being lifted after feeling some tightness in his back.

    "I just tried to worry about making sure I didn't do anything to reinjure my back," Harang said. "We didn't want to take any chances."

    Perez, who pitched six scoreless innings against the Reds in his last outing Sept. 10, allowed eight hits and four runs in five innings.

    "There are going to be growing pains, and you're going to have inconsistency with young pitchers," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. "That's part of it. You just keep running them out there and they'll get better.

    "That's what will happen with Oliver, because he has a great arm, a great competitive spirit and a chance to do some tremendous things."

    The Reds led 5-4 before breaking it open with four runs in the eighth off reliever Mark Corey.

    Jason LaRue doubled and scored on Ruben Mateo's single. Ray Olmedo grounded into fielder's choice, Dernell Stenson walked on four pitches and Freel was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

    Tim Hummel hit a sacrifice fly to make it 7-4. Jimenez hit a two-run single to make it 9-4.

    Stenson had a sacrifice fly and Freel hit a two-run single in the ninth to cap the scoring.

    Trailing 5-2, the Pirates scored twice in the seventh off John Riedling, who didn't record an out. Craig Wilson singled and beat right fielder Mateo's throw home to score on a triple by Rob Mackowiak, and Jack Wilson followed with a run-scoring single.

    Miley was ejected by plate umpire Eric Cooper for arguing the call on Craig Wilson at home.

    "I felt that was a big play in the game at that point," said Miley, whose ejection was his first in the majors. "I felt we got him and I said so."

    Game notes

    The Reds have used a different lineup in each of their last 27 games. ... Of the five Reds remaining from the opening day roster, only Casey and LaRue have spent the entire season on the active roster. ... Mackowiak started at third base for the seventh time in 10 games. Jose Hernandez, who has made 45 starts at third since being acquired from the Chicago Cubs in July, is a free agent after this season. ... Pittsburgh's Tike Redman has hit safely in eight consecutive starts.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press