Pirates 6, Reds 3

Sunday, April 8th 2007, 3:32 pm
By: News On 6

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Freddy Sanchez had 2 hits and an RBI in his first game since coming off the disabled list, and Zach Duke pitched the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.

Jason Bay, Jack Wilson and Brad Eldred homered to help the Pirates avoid their first three-game sweep in Cincinnati since September 1998. Wilson hit a 2-run shot, while Eldred connected for the first time since 2005 and drove in 2 runs.

Sanchez, the NL batting champion last year with a .344 average, opened this season on the disabled list with a sprained right knee. He led off the 5th inning with a single to left for his first hit and Wilson followed with his first homer, a line drive down the left-field line.

Duke (1-0) pitched 6 shutout innings before giving up 3 runs and getting chased in the 7th without getting an out. He allowed 6 hits overall, struck out 5 and didn't walk a batter.

Salomon Torres pitched a perfect 9th for his fourth save in four tries.

Eric Milton (0-1), who wasn't even on the active roster when he was booed during pregame introductions on opening day, fell to 16-24 with the Reds. He is in the final year of the $25.5 million, three-year contract he signed as a free agent in December 2004.

Eldred, who spent last season with AAA Indianapolis after hitting 12 homers for Pittsburgh in 2005, snapped a scoreless tie in the 4th by driving in Xavier Nady from 1st base with a double to left field.

The Pirates knocked Milton out of the game in the 6th with a 1-out double by Jose Bautista and a 2-out RBI double by Sanchez, who is hitting .647 (11-17) in his career against Milton.

Milton, making his first start after opening the season on the disabled list with lower back spasms, allowed 10 hits and 4 runs with 1 walk and 6 strikeouts in 5 2-3 innings.

The Reds got to Duke in the 7th on Ken Griffey Jr.'s 2-run single and pinch-hitter Juan Castro's run-scoring double.

Eldred added his 1-out solo homer in the 8th off Todd Coffey, snapping a streak of 14 2-3 consecutive scoreless innings
by Cincinnati's bullpen.