By JOHN PERROTTO
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Juan Nicasio struck out eight in seven scoreless innings, Josh Harrison hit his first home run in nearly a year and Matt Joyce connected as a pinch-hitter to lead the Pirates to a 4-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night, extending Pittsburgh’s winning streak to five games.
Nicasio (3-2) allowed three hits and one walk in sending the Reds to their fifth straight loss. Signed as a free agent in the offseason, Nicasio has won all three home starts with a 1.89 ERA while losing both road starts with a 6.75 ERA.
Harrison hit his first home run since May 15, a span of 379 at-bats, into the bleachers in right field with two outs in the fourth to raise the Pirates’ lead to 2-0. An inning earlier, David Freese hit a two-out RBI single.
Joyce sliced a two-run home run off the foul pole in left, his third, in the seventh inning to make it 4-0.