Kristopher Negron, a new arrival for the injury riddled Reds, hit a three-run home run off Francisco Liriano to jump on the Pirates in the second inning.
Negron's first Major League home run led the Reds to a 6-3 win, leaving them 1 1/2 games out of first place at the break.
The Reds loaded the bases when Reds' starter Johnny Cueto walked. Billy Hamilton doubled high off the leftfield wall. Zack Cozart walked but the threat ended when Todd Frazier flied out to right.
Cueto was nicked for a run in the fourth.
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