Morton bounces back to help Pirates dispatch Reds for rare win

PITTSBURGH -- Charlie Morton was ready to put his previous start behind him.

Morton bounced back from a terrible outing by pitching into the seventh inning to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-2 on Friday night for their fourth straight victory.

Garrett Jones and Lastings Milledge homered for the Pirates, who were in a 1-12 slide before their winning streak.

Morton (3-6) allowed two runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings to earn his first win since July 18 against San Francisco. He left his previous start last Friday against the Chicago Cubs in the second inning and was charged with 10 runs and seven hits in a 17-2 loss.

"I was motivated to go back out there right away," Morton said. "That's the best thing to do when you have an outing like that; you just want to get back out there."

Chris Dickerson had two hits and drove in a run for the Reds, who have lost six of seven. Micah Owings (6-12) allowed five runs and five hits over five innings in his first start since he was placed on the disabled list July 27 with right shoulder tightness.

"Micah was all right except for a couple pitches," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He threw the ball fair, but the home runs hurt."

Jones' 14th homer -- most in the majors among rookies, despite his June 30 callup -- went high into the elevated seats in right with Andrew McCutchen and Delwyn Young aboard and two outs in the third.

"I was elevating a fastball. It was kind of in on him," Owings said. "It came back over a little bit, and he put a good swing on it. I've got to key on making pitches."

Milledge went deep with one out in the fourth, hitting Owings' first pitch into the left-field seats for his second homer in three games after going almost a year without one.

Milledge is batting .357 (5-for-14) in his last four games after going through a 1-for-15 stretch.

"I'm just starting to see some results, and any time you see results, you get more confident and when you get more confident you feel comfortable," Milledge said. "So I just want to be consistent and day in and day out."

Jesse Chavez got two outs in the seventh, Joel Hanrahan worked the eighth and Matt Capps finished for his 23rd save for Pittsburgh.

Dickerson singled with two outs in the ninth and Drew Stubbs reached on shortstop Ronny Cedeno's error, but Capps got Joey Votto to ground out to end the game.

Owings scored the game's first run in the third, on Votto's groundout. Dickerson drove in the Reds' other run in the seventh on a sharp comebacker to Chavez, scoring Paul Janish.

The Reds went 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base. They outhit the Pirates 9-5 but Pittsburgh left only one man on base.

"They gave us a bunch of chances," Baker said. "We had some chances at the end, but the three-run homer kind of got us behind the 8-ball early.

"We're just not getting that hit with runners on base. You can get all the hits you want to, but you've got to get some RBIs."

Game notes
The teams wore replica 1979 jerseys in honor of the Pirates' most recent World Series championship team. The Pirates beat the Reds in the NLCS that season. ... The Reds are 9-25 since the All-Star break, falling from five games out of first to only a half-game in front of the Pirates for last.