By JOHN PERROTTO, Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Scooter Gennett is living out his childhood dream during the early days of the season.
Gennett homered for the second straight night and finished with three hits, helping the Cincinnati Reds overcome the early departure of injured starter Rookie Davis to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 Tuesday for their sixth win in seven games.
Gennett capped the scoring with a three-run drive into the right field bleachers in the eighth inning off Trevor Williams.
Claimed off waivers from the Brewers during spring training, Gennett has three home runs in his first seven games, including a solo shot Monday night in a 7-1 victory over the Pirates. The Brewers were looking to shed his $2.53 million salary.
Gennett was born in Cincinnati and lived in suburban Lebanon, Ohio, until he was 9 years old and his family moved to Sarasota, Florida.
“The Brewers are a really small-market team and they didn’t see me being in their starting lineup this year so I knew something was probably going to burst during the spring,” Gennett said. “I wouldn’t say I was surprised when they let me go, but when I found out I was going to the Reds, it felt like I was dreaming. I’ve been a Reds’ fan my entire life.”
Gennett also doubled, and the Reds had 10 hits. Adam Duvall hit a leadoff home run in the second inning, his third of the season, to open the scoring.
“Scooter’s home run was big because you’re adding three runs to the spread in a one-run game,” Reds manager Bryan Price. “It pretty much sealed things.”
Davis, a rookie right-hander, left in the fifth inning with a bruised right forearm after being struck by a pitch from Pittsburgh’s Jameson Taillon. He worked four innings in his second major league start, allowing a run, two hits and four walks while striking out three.
Price said it was too early to tell if Davis would be able to make his scheduled start Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Billy Hamilton’s RBI single with two outs in the seventh off Juan Nicasio (0-1) snapped a 2-2 tie, putting the Reds ahead for good.
Drew Storen (1-0) allowed an unearned run in the sixth on shortstop Jose Peraza’s throwing error but got credit for his first win with the Reds after signing as a free agent in the offseason.
Taillon allowed two runs and four hits in six innings with four strikeouts and one walk. Andrew McCutchen was 2 for 4 after the 2013 NL MVP began the season 4 for 24.
The Pirates have lost back-to-back games following a three-game winning streak. They are a combined a 0 for 19 with runners in scoring position in the two losses.
“We haven’t been able to produce,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “Guys are trying to move the chains. They’re not trying to do anything more than that.”
The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 14 minutes because of rain.
WHERE ARE THE WALKS?
Reds first baseman Joey Votto has walked just twice in his first 33 plate appearance. He led the NL with a .434 on-base percentage last season and has topped the league in bases on balls four times in his 11-year career.
Reds: SS Zack Cozart (sore left wrist) missed his second straight game but could return Wednesday night for the finale of the three-game series. He is on a six-game hitting streak to begin the season, going 9 for 20. … C Devin Mesoraco (right hip surgery), who is on a rehab assignment at Double-A Pensacola, is likely to be activated from the disabled list early next week. … RHP Austin Brice (ulnar never irritation in right elbow) was activated from the 10-day DL and optioned to Pensacola.
Pirates: 2B Josh Harrison (sore left calf) had two hits in returning to the lineup after sitting out Monday night’s game.
Reds: RHP Amir Garrett (1-0) will start Wednesday night after pitching six shutout innings at St. Louis to win his major league debut.
Pirates: RHP Ivan Nova (1-0) won the home opener, holding Atlanta to one unearned run in six innings.
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