The Reds' four-run fifth inning was the Pirates' undoing in a 5-3 loss Friday to kick off the second half of the season.
Francisco Liriano gave up a solo homer to Chris Heisey in the first, but otherwise kept the Reds in check for the first several innings. It was still 1-0 in the fifth when Liriano gave up a leadoff double to Devin Mesoraco. Mike Leake hit into a fielder's choice, and then Shin-Soo Choo singled to move him to third. Heisey then hit an infield single that brought home a run. Then Joey Votto walked to load the bases, and after Justin Wilson entered the game, Brandon Phillips hit a bases-clearing double to make it 5-0.
The Pirates started a comeback in the sixth, as Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen and Russell Martin all hit solo homers in the same inning to make it 5-3. The Bucs also put two men on in the seventh, but couldn't muster any further offense. In the bottom half of the seventh, Travis Snider made a tremendous throw to gun down Joey Votto at the plate and end another Reds rally, but the Pirates couldn't continue their comeback against Manny Parra, Sam LeCure and Aroldis Chapman in the eighth and ninth.