PITTSBURGH — Rookie Neil Walker had three hits and drove in a career-high four runs, and the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates snapped a five-game losing streak, holding on for a 7-6 victory over the first-place Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night. Walker had a three-run double as part of a six-run second inning for Pittsburgh, which also got two hits and two runs from Jose Tabata.
Brandon Phillips went 3-for-5 with two RBI, and Chris Heisey had two RBI singles for the Reds, who came in having won three straight and five of six. Cincinnati remained in first place in the NL Central because St. Louis lost 18-4 to Houston on Tuesday.
Starting without two regulars in first baseman Joey Votto (NL leader in batting and home runs) and shortstop Orlando Cabrera, the Reds allowed more runs in a game than they had allowed in any of their past 10 contests.
Pitching on nine days' rest as the Reds attempt to limit him, rookie Mike Leake was charged with seven runs — six earned — and seven hits with a walk and two strikeouts in five innings for his second consecutive defeat.
Cincinnati nearly erased a 7-1 deficit with two runs in the sixth and another in the seventh off Paul Maholm. Phillips hit a two-run double off All-Star Evan Meek in the eighth, but new Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan earned his first save since May 24, 2009, when he was with Washington, by striking out two after allowing Scott Rolen's leadoff single in the ninth.
The Pirates tripled the number of runs they had produced in their previous 38 innings combined — and nearly doubled the three hits they had in losing 4-0 to the Reds on Monday night — when they took a 6-0 lead in the second on five hits.
Playing his second game with Pittsburgh since being acquired via trade, Chris Snyder had a two-run single. Four batters later, Tabata drove in Snyder with a single. Walker followed with his bases-clearing double, and he added an RBI single in the fifth. Maholm (7-9) allowed four runs on nine hits and two walks with two strikeouts in six-plus innings.
Cabrera went on the DL Tuesday with a strained left oblique. Votto did not start for the second consecutive game with a sprained right wrist. He was intentionally walked as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and stayed in the game.