CINCINNATI (AP) – Josh Bell tied the Pirates record with his 12th homer in May, and Pittsburgh stopped Derek Dietrich’s home run spree Wednesday, beating the Cincinnati Reds 7-2 for a split of their four-game series.
Bell’s three-run homer tied Jason Bay’s mark from May 2006. His 23rd extra-base hit in May left him one shy of Paul Waner’s club record for any month. He had three hits, raising his average to .345 with 18 homers overall.
Tensions have been high between the clubs this season, and Reds manager David Bell was ejected in the eighth inning after Pittsburgh’s Clay Holmes hit Eugenio Suarez on the back of the left hand with a pitch. Suarez walked toward the mound and exchanged words with Holmes, but players stayed in the dugouts. Suarez left the game, and umpire Jeff Nelson tossed Bell after his heated discussion with the crew.
Colin Moran also had a three-run shot off Anthony DeSclafani (2-3), who has given up seven homers in his last three starts.
Left-hander Steven Brault (2-1) fanned Dietrich twice during his latest shutdown performance against the Reds. Brault is 4-0 career against Cincinnati with a 1.03 ERA and a scoreless streak of 19 2/3 innings.
His biggest task was stopping Dietrich, who homered three times during an 11-6 win Tuesday night. Seven of Dietrich’s 17 homers this season are against the Pirates, including one he admired last month at PNC Park that upset the Pirates and led to a benches-clearing fracas. Dietrich was limited to a pair of singles.
The start of the game was delayed 2 hours, 13 minutes because of rain.
It was a costly series for the Pirates, who already had two starters – Trevor Williams and Jameson Taillon – on the injured list. Jordan Lyles lasted only four innings on Tuesday night because of discomfort in his left hamstring.
Brault allowed three singles and struck out five in 5 1/3 innings of his third start. The left-hander opened the season in the bullpen but moved to the rotation when it was depleted by injuries.
Pirates: Williams has resumed throwing off a mound. He’s been sidelined since May 17 with a strained right side. Taillon hasn’t resumed throwing. He’s been on the injured list since May 4 with a strained elbow. … Infielder Jung Ho Kang will play third base, shortstop and DH during his rehab assignment as he recovers from a strained left side. … Catcher Francisco Cervelli will be examined Thursday as he recovers from a concussion.
Reds: Joey Votto missed a third straight game with tightness in his right hamstring. He was available to pinch hit.
Pirates: Joe Musgrove (3-5) faces Milwaukee’s Chase Anderson (2-0) as Pittsburgh opens a four-game series at PNC Park.
Reds: Following a day off, Cincinnati opens a three-game weekend series against Washington at Great American Ball Park. Tyler Mahle (1-5) faces left-hander Patrick Corbin (5-2).