CINCINNATI (AP) -- A Cincinnati starter finally faltered, and the
Pittsburgh Pirates took advantage.
Rob Mackowiak hit a two-run homer and Raul Mondesi drove in two
runs as the Pirates roughed up Jimmy Haynes to avoid a three-game
sweep with a 4-3 win over the Reds on Sunday."I wasn't sharp," said Haynes, who allowed eight hits and two
walks in 4 1-3 innings in his first start since Aug. 3. Back
problems forced him to miss the final two months of last season."It was a battle for the first few innings. I was a little off.
My first game, I guess. I'm still working out the kinks," Haynes
said.The loss snapped Cincinnati's four-game winning streak, all of
which had featured quality starts. A rusty Haynes couldn't keep the
streak going."(Haynes) was pitching behind in the count," Reds manager Dave
Miley said. "That's when he got hurt, when he was behind in the
count."Pittsburgh swept the Reds in the three-game series to open Great
American Ball Park last season.Oliver Perez (1-0) allowed six hits and three runs in five
innings in his first start of the season."(Perez) was outstanding," Pittsburgh manager Lloyd McClendon
said. "He made a couple of mistakes that cost him, but he's been
working on some of his mechanics, and he was able to take what he's
been working on to the mound."Four Pittsburgh relievers combined to allow two hits in four
scoreless innings.Rookie left-hander Mike Johnston got Ken Griffey Jr. to bounce
into a double play that ended the seventh inning, and Jose Mesa
pitched a perfect ninth for his third save in three opportunities."I was trying to keep the ball down," Johnson said of his
confrontation with Griffey. "I was trying to bust him in and get
one in on his hands.""I've said all along that I like our bullpen," McClendon said.
"We've still got a couple of things to work out down there, but we
have some talented arms."Mondesi's RBI double into the left-field corner in the fifth
gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead. Mackowiak followed with his first home
run of the season to knock Haynes (0-1) out of the game."(Haynes) struggled with his control all day," Mackowiak said.
"I was hoping to get a fastball I could hit, and I got one right
there."Austin Kearns cut Pittsburgh's lead to 4-3 with a two-run home
run in the fifth, his first of the season."I finally ran into one, I guess," said Kearns, who was
3-for-21 (.143) and hadn't driven in a run before the home run.
"I've been up there trying to hit one hard. I've been fighting it
out there."Haynes struggled through a 30-pitch first inning, but allowed
only one run on Mondesi's run-scoring single.Adam Dunn homered for a third straight game and for the fourth
time this season to tie the game at 1 in the second for the Reds.The Reds wrapped up a 4-2 homestand, their first over .500 since
they went 5-2 last July 28-Aug. 3.That was their first homestand after general manager Jim Bowden
and manager Bob Boone were fired. They split or lost their last
four homestands of the season."That's what you try to do at home," Miley said. "I guess the
old adage is win at home at play .500 on the road. It was a good
homestand for us."^Notes@: Dunn has homered in three consecutive games four times
in his career ... Pittsburgh 3B Chris Stynes' fourth-inning single
was his first hit of the season in 14 at bats. He is 1-for-16 ...
Kearns' homer was his first since last June 12. He didn't play
after July 8 due to a shoulder injury ... Pirates leadoff hitter
Tike Redman went 0-for-5 to finish 1-for-14 in the series. ....
Haynes walked two batters in the first inning, as many as
Cincinnati's previous three starters had allowed in a combined 19
innings. Reds starters had allowed a league-low four walks in 31
innings before Sunday.