The Pirates continued their habit of alternating wins and losses for the 14th game. John Candelaria gave up ten hits to the Reds in a 7-3 loss.
The Candy Man was OK through four innings. He survived a bases-loaded situation in the first by fanning Arturo DeFreites, then stranded single runners in each of the next three innings.
Things started downhill in the fifth, when two batters reached on errors by third baseman Phil Garner and Johnny Bench drove in a run with a two-out single. Garner got that back with his second home run of the year in the bottom half, but the Reds knocked Candelaria out in the sixth. Paul Blair followed a leadoff single with a two-run bomb. Three more hits, interspersed with two outs, brought in two more runs, one of them unearned due to an error on Omar Moreno. That left the Reds with a 5-1 lead. Ed Whitson came on to get the last out, leaving Candelaria charged with five runs, three earned, in five and two-thirds innings.
Cincinnati got single runs in the seventh and eighth off Whitson and Enrique Romo, the first on a bases-loaded walk and the second on a home run by Dan Driessen. That offset a rally by the Pirates in the bottom of the seventh that finally dispensed with Reds started Mike LaCoss. Singles by Garner, Mike Easler, Tim Foli and Dave Parker, helped by an error, brought in two runs.
The Pirates managed only two baserunners off Doug Bair in the last two innings. They had nine hits in the game, three by Garner. Candelaria’s record dropped to 2-2.