CINCINNATI — Ivan Nova was unbeaten for seven weeks, then beaten up Sunday.
Joey Votto smacked his 25th homer, Tucker Barnhart tied his career high with four RBIs and the Cincinnati Reds snapped the Pittsburgh Pirates’ four-game winning streak with a 7-4 victory.
Votto finished with four hits, including his eighth-inning solo homer, as the Reds finally got to Nova (12-7) while clouding Pittsburgh’s fading postseason hopes and snapping their own four-game skid.
“People watching on television probably saw more lateral movement than downward on his changeup and the command on his curveball wasn’t as sharp,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. “He was more east and west than sink on his changeup and didn’t have as much break on his curve and that helps eliminate the disruption of the hitters’ timing. Today was a day that, unfortunately, the pitcher didn’t show up with his best gear.”
The Pirates went into the game in fourth place in the National League wild-card standings, five games out of the second berth.
Dan Straily (13-8) limited Pittsburgh to three runs in six innings, overcoming Sean Rodriguez’s solo home run and four walks to slow down a Pirates offense that had piled up 41 runs during their winning streak. He allowed five hits and had five strikeouts.
Nova was 5-0 overall and 2-0 in two starts against Cincinnati since being acquired from the Yankees on Aug. 1, but the Reds rocked him for nine hits and five runs —three earned — in three innings.
“I’m human,” he said. “It’s one of those days where you either have it or you don’t. I wanted to keep fighting and give my team a chance to win the game, and I didn’t do it. I just didn’t do the job. I guess I left it all in the bullpen. I felt good in the bullpen. I had faced them two times already. Give them some credit, too.”
Pedro Florimon gave Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead with a two-run triple on a drive to center field that glanced off Jose Peraza’s glove before bouncing off the wall in the second.
Barnhart tied the score with a two-run double to right-center field in the bottom of the inning.
The Reds — wearing green uniforms while celebrating Irish culture day — piled up five hits and three runs against Nova in the third. Straily had a line-drive single to right after going 0 for 48 in his career before the at-bat.
Brandon Phillips drove in Votto with a ground-rule double to center field and scored on Schebler’s single to left. Schebler went to third when left fielder Adam Frazier misplayed Ivan De Jesus Jr.’s single for an error, setting up the first of Barnhart’s two sacrifice fly balls.
TBA ALL AROUND
The Pirates were waiting to see how their two young starters, RHP Jameson Taillon and Trevor Williams, responded to pitching in Saturday’s doubleheader before announcing a rotation for their three-game series in Milwaukee that starts on Tuesday.
Rodriguez’s sixth-inning home run was the 239th allowed by Cincinnati pitchers this season, tying the National League record set by the 2001 Rockies. The record of 241 was set by the 1996 Tigers.
Barnhart is hitting .375 (30-for-80) with runners in scoring position this season.
Pirates: RHP Tyler Glasnow was hit on his inner left foot by a sharp line drive off the bat of Adam Duvall in the sixth inning. A trainer took a quick look, but Glasnow stayed in the game.
Reds: After skipping a scheduled bullpen session on Friday, RHP Homer Bailey threw one on Sunday. Bailey hasn’t pitched since Aug. 28 because of biceps soreness.
Pirates: After getting Monday off, Pittsburgh continues its 11-game road trip on Tuesday with the first of three games in Milwaukee. The Pirates have yet to announce a rotation for the series.
Reds: Tim Adleman (2-4) is Cincinnati’s scheduled starter in Monday’s opener of a three-game series against the Cubs in Chicago, the beginning of an 11-day, 10-game road trip.