CINCINNATI (AP) – Rich Aurilia’s bases-loaded double in the fourth inning sparked a five-run rally, and Ramon Ortiz pitched his first complete game since 2003, leading the Cincinnati Reds over the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 Saturday night in a matchup of the NL Central’s two bottom teams.

Ortiz (9-10) threw his ninth career complete game, helping the Reds to only their third win in the last 11 games. Ortiz became the first Reds starter to get a victory since Aug. 28.

He had has been inconsistent since he opened the season with a groin injury. He allowed eight hits, struck out six and walked two against the Pirates, throwing 106 pitches.

Last-place Pittsburgh lost for the 12th time in 15 games, unable to do anything right for very long. The Pirates were coming off their first back-to-back wins in three weeks, looking for their first three-game winning streak since July 23-26.

A poor performance by Kip Wells (7-16) halted the modest streak. Wells walked a season-high six in 3 2-3 innings and threw two wild pitches, one of them letting in a run.

The teams took turns hitting sacrifice flies at the outset, getting the least out of their biggest threats – the type of thing that scuttled their seasons and got their managers fired. The Reds got rid of Dave Miley in June, and the Pirates dumped Lloyd McClendon on Tuesday.

Daryle Ward hit sacrifice flies in the first and again in the third, when the Pirates loaded the bases with one out but managed only one run. Cincinnati got its first three batters aboard in the first, but had to settle for Sean Casey’s sacrifice fly.

Wells, who gets the lowest support in the majors at three runs per game, couldn’t blame the Pirates’ offense this time. The right-hander self-destructed in the fourth inning with a 2-1 lead.

Wells walked three during the nine-batter inning and threw two wild pitches, the first letting in the tying run. With the bases loaded, Aurilia doubled off the wall in left for a 5-2 lead, ending Wells’ outing. Adam Dunn completed the rally with an RBI double off Brian Meadows, putting the Reds ahead 6-2.

Wells has lost eight of his last nine decisions. The right-hander’s biggest problems this season have come against division opponents – he’s 0-7 in his last 12 starts against the NL Central, going without a win since April 27.

Notes: Wells has received three or fewer runs while he was on the mound in 21 of his last 22 starts. … Pirates RHP Josh Fogg will throw in the bullpen on Sunday, testing his right hand. Fogg left his start on Thursday when Arizona’s Chad Tracy singled off his hand in the sixth inning. If Fogg feels fine on Sunday, he’ll make his next scheduled start. … Rookie LHP Zach Duke ran before the game Saturday, testing his sprained left ankle. He reported no problems. Duke hurt the ankle while running the bases on Aug. 23. He’s eligible to come off the disabled list. … Reds OF Ken Griffey Jr. was out of the lineup for the fifth straight game because of a sprained foot. He’s day to day.

AP-ES-09-10-05 2206EDT


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