PITTSBURGH (AP) — Reds starting pitcher Travis Wood was hoping for a strong finish to his season.
However, the left-hander failed to make it through the third inning Saturday night as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat Cincinnati 4-3.
The loss assured the Reds, who fell to 76-82, of a losing season a year after they won the NL Central for their first division title in 15 years.
Wood helped spark the Reds last season when he was called up from the minor leagues and went 5-4 with a 3.51 ERA in 17 starts.
However, after his final start of the season, Wood will finish 2011 with a 6-6 record and 4.84 ERA in 22 games, 18 starts.
"You always want to finish the season strong and I didn't," Wood said.
"You'd just like to see some consistency from Travis, or any of our other starting pitchers for that matter," manager Dusty Baker said.
"It would be nice to get good back-to-back starts from someone."
Wood pitched five shutout innings against Houston in his previous start on Sept. 19 and brought a 16-inning scoreless streak into Saturday's game.
However, he gave up four runs and seven hits in 2 2-3 innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
"I felt I threw some good pitches and they battled and fouled them out, and forced me to make more hittable pitches," said Wood, who plans to work out with Philadelphia left-hander Cliff Lee in their native Arkansas in the offseason.
Brandon Phillips had two doubles among his three hits for Cincinnati and Joey Votto and Juan Francisco also doubled twice. Votto drove in two runs to become the first Reds player with back-to-back 100-RBI seasons since Dave Parker in 1985-86.
"You always want to see your players achieve goals but the main thing is to win and we haven't won nearly enough this year," Baker said.
Pittsburgh snapped a 1-1 tie and chased Wood during a three-run third inning.
Josh Harrison led off with a triple that one-hopped the left-field fence and scored on Andrew McCutchen's sacrifice fly. Ryan Ludwick also hit a sacrifice fly before Jason Jaramillo capped the inning with a single that drove in Walker, who had doubled.
Votto hit an RBI double in the fourth to draw the Reds within 4-2 and Edgar Renteria's two-out RBI single in the eighth made it a one-run game.
Cincinnati opened the scoring in the first when Phillips led off with a double and scored on Votto's one-out double. Ronny Cedeno hit a sacrifice fly in the second for the Pirates to tie the game at 1-1.
Pittsburgh won for the third time in four games while Cincinnati lost for the sixth time in eight games.
Harrison, a rookie third baseman, set a career high for hits while going 4 for 5 and finished a home run shy of the cycle.
Harrison was born, raised and was a college star in Cincinnati, but said he derived no special satisfaction in helping beat the Reds.
"I'm more worried about trying to prove I belong in the big leagues," he said with a smile. "I really wasn't a big Reds' fan growing up. I didn't have a favorite team. I was just a baseball fan."
Harrison was the Big East Conference Player of the Year at the University of Cincinnati in 2008.
Neil Walker added three hits for Pittsburgh.
Jason Grilli pitched a scoreless ninth, working around Phillips' leadoff single, for the third save of his nine-year career and first since April 15, 2009, when he was pitching for Colorado against the Cubs.
Closer Joel Hanrahan was unavailable after throwing 31 pitches on Friday night.
Notes: X-rays of Reds INF Todd Frazier's left hand were negative after he was hit by a pitch from Pirates RHP Joel Hanrahan on Friday night. Frazier pinch hit in the sixth inning Saturday and struck out. ... Pittsburgh finishes its home season Sunday when it tries to sweep the three-game series with RHP James McDonald (9-9, 4.28) facing Cincinnati LHP Dontrelle Willis (0-6, 5.04). McDonald has his last chance to finish the season with double-digit wins. The bullpen has blown five leads for him after the seventh inning. Willis, who has yet to win in 12 starts since being called up from Triple-A Louisville on July 10, missed his last turn in the rotation because of back spasms. ... Pittsburgh had its 17th sellout of the season, helped by a postgame concert by the Steve Miller Band. That is the most sellouts for the Pirates since they had 19 in 2001, the year PNC Park opened.
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- Travis Wood