Bailey tossed seven sharp innings and Reds beat the Pirates 4-1 Sunday, salvaging the finale of their weekend series.
Bailey allowed one run and four hits, retiring his final eight batters to help the Reds win for only the second time in nine games. Cincinnati also improved to 10-26 since the All-Star break.
"At the very beginning of the game I was a little off and as the game went along I had some cushion to work with," Bailey said. "The guys' bats woke up today. I just kind of kept going after them."
"We got shut down today," manager John Russell said. "It's one of those things where a guy pitched pretty well against us. We had some opportunities early, but they seemed to all come with two outs and we couldn't get the big two-out hits."
Brandon Phillips had two hits and two RBIs for the Reds, who climbed back into fifth after dropping into last following Saturday's 12-2 loss. Joey Votto and Paul Janish also had two hits, and Francisco Cordero worked the ninth for his 26th save and first since Aug. 11.
Bailey (3-4) threw 53 pitches in the first two innings but buckled down to win for the first time since July 27.
"I thought Homer threw effectively with his fastball," Votto said. "The first few innings he was a little -- I don't want to say shaky -- but he was not quite as dialed in as he was late in the game, so to see him pitch with more confidence as the game went along, I think that's a feather in his cap."
Cincinnati got to Kevin Hart for single runs in the first, fourth and fifth. Phillips singled in Chris Dickerson in the first, Jonny Gomes added a sacrifice fly in the fourth and Votto's RBI single made it 3-0 in the fifth.
"We got [Hart's] pitch count up high, and we kept working and we scored enough to win," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
Phillips also drove in a run with a fielder's choice in the seventh, increasing his team-leading total to 77 RBIs.
Making his fourth start since being acquired in a trade with the Chicago Cubs on July 30, Hart (4-3) allowed three runs and six hits in five innings.
"I don't think you're going to win a lot of games at this level throwing the ball like I did today," Hart said. "The way we've been playing, I just wanted to keep us in the ballgame and give us a chance with the way we've been swinging the bats. ... I'll take it and learn from it but I don't know how much sleep I'm going to get tonight."
Dickerson sprained his left ankle lunging back to the bag when he was picked off first in the third, and was carried into the tunnel. X-rays were negative, but Baker said Dickerson would be placed on the disabled list before the Reds' next game Tuesday in Milwaukee.
Dickerson was to return to Cincinnati to be re-evaluated Monday morning. Drew Stubbs replaced him in center field.
"It's been a frustrating year," Votto said. "We keep losing important players."
The game broke a string in which Pirates starters earned victories in five straight games and Pirates hitters homered at least once during each of the past five as well. ... Pittsburgh had the longest active winning streak in the majors heading into the game. The Pirates haven't won six straight since May 6-12, 2008.