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Bryan Reynolds hits late HR after Mitch Keller, Hunter Greene duel to lift the Pirates past Reds 1-0

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Bryan Reynolds hit a go-ahead home run in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates edged the Cincinnati Reds 1-0 on Wednesday.

Reynolds pounced on an 80 mph changeup from Nick Martinez (2-5) and sent it just over the wall in center field for his 10th homer of the season as the Pirates took two of three from Cincinnati.

The blast extended Reynolds' hitting streak to 17 games, the longest by a Pirate since 2019. He is batting .357 during the streak, with three home runs and 10 RBIs. The surge comes during a time of year when Reynolds typically figures things out. He's a career .345 hitter in June.

“I’ve got a good history in June, I guess,” Reynolds said with a characteristic shrug. "So, need to make it a longer month.”

Colin Holderman (3-0) retired the three batters he faced in the eighth after coming on for a brilliant Mitch Keller. David Bednar worked a perfect ninth for his 16th save.

Keller didn't put up much of a fight when Pirates manager Derek Shelton came to get him after issuing a leadoff walk in the eighth even though Keller had thrown just 83 pitches.

“I had no idea how many pitches I was at, wasn’t really looking at that, just keep going," Keller said. "I don’t even know how much it ended up being. Felt like 150, though.”

The teams combined for just five hits on a steamy day at PNC Park in which Keller and Hunter Greene put on a show.

Keller allowed two hits — singles to Jonathan India and Santiago Espinal — over seven-plus innings while striking out seven. The 28-year-old has pitched at least five innings in 46 straight starts, the longest active streak in the majors.

The Reds failed to get a runner to third against Keller and did little against Holderman and Bednar.

“I don’t know if we’ve pitched better than we did in this series,” said Shelton of the Pirates, who allowed three runs in three games against Cincinnati.

Hunter Greene matched Keller pitch for pitch into the seventh. The hard-throwing 24-year-old right-hander struck out nine in 6 1/3 innings. Greene didn’t allow a walk, though he did hit two batters to boost his season total to 11, the most in the majors.

“Hunter’s been working really hard in between starts to train himself to go deeper into games, just one more thing he’s doing to get better,” Reds manager David Bell said. "He’s put a little extra effort toward that.”

Greene's only mistakes were giving up a double to right by Yasmani Grandal in the second and a double off the wall in center field by Rowdy Tellez with one out in the seventh.

GETTING ROWDY

Tellez began trotting when the ball left his bat thinking it was gone. He started chugging when it smacked off the wall and scrambled into second just before the throw came in from the outfield.

The burly first baseman, who is hitting .421 (16 of 38) over his past 12 games, said afterward “are you going to ask me about my double that should have been a homer, write that it's a double that should have been a homer.”

Shelton joked afterward that the penalty for Tellez would be a new bottle of wine for the wine fridge Shelton recently had installed in his office.

“He got to second base,” Shelton said. "I don’t think Rowdy’s getting to third base really ever ... But, he knew he screwed up.”

The hit ended Greene's day but not his impressive run of starts. Greene has at least five strikeouts in his 15 starts, the longest stretch by a Reds starter to begin the season since 1901 and the longest by a Cincinnati pitcher at any point since Mario Soto in 1982.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Reds: Held CF TJ Friedl (hamstring) out of the lineup for a second straight day after he tweaked his hamstring while making a spectacular catch on Monday night.

Pirates: Activated INF Alika Williams (wrist) from the injured list and optioned him to Triple-A Indianapolis.

UP NEXT

Reds: Welcome Boston for a three-game series starting Friday.

Pirates: Host Tampa Bay for a three-game weekend set beginning Friday.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Will Graves, The Associated Press