PITTSBURGH -- Their last World Series trophy was on display, and some of the best players in franchise history were, too. For one night, these going-nowhere Pirates could forget they're 19 games under .500 and headed toward an unwanted record.
Ryan Doumit homered, doubled and drove in three runs to give Zach Duke some unaccustomed run support and the Pirates pushed Cincinnati into last place in the NL Central by winning 12-2 on Saturday night.After honoring 22 members of the World Series-winning 1979 Pirates before the game, a team headed for the franchise's major league record-setting 17th consecutive losing season turned back the clock with '79-like power, pitching and defense to win its fifth in a row.The Pirates matched their longest winning streak of the season, previously reached May 16-20. The Reds lost their seventh in eight games to fall a half-game behind the Pirates, who had been in last place every day since June 19.Garrett Jones also drove in three runs as the Pirates enjoyed a rare breakout night for Duke (10-11), who normally gets poor run support. The Pirates had won only one of Duke's previous nine starts -- he was 1-6 -- and had scored only four runs in his four most recent starts.Among the '79 "We Are Fam-a-lee" Pirates attending were manager Chuck Tanner, Dave Parker, Bill Madlock, Phil Garner, Omar Moreno, Bert Blyleven, Kent Tekulve, Mike Easler, Lee Lacy, Ed Ott, Steve Nicosia, Grant Jackson, Don Robinson. Willie Stargell, the co-NL MVP that season, died on the day PNC Park opened in 2001."To be around those guys, knowing what they've done in the game and accomplished, we want to strive to do that," Duke said. "We want to be a winning team and be remembered as a club that brought a lot of joy and happiness to the city. The stories those guys tell are pretty fun to listen to, they're still a family and get along like one today."Duke matched his career high for wins set when he went 10-15 in 2006, giving up two runs and eight hits in seven innings for his second victory since June 24. The Pirates scored only 10 runs while he was on the mound during his 11 losses."There's not a whole lot to say, we just got beat up," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.With a nearly full house at PNC Park attracted by the '79 team's reunion and a postgame concert, the Pirates jumped on Justin Lehr (2-1) for three runs in the first with the help of four singles and kept adding on the runs. Lehr gave up eight runs and six hits in five innings."Some weren't hit very well, but they weren't thrown very well, either," Lehr said.Doumit's two-run drive, his seventh, came in the fifth and Jones' two-run double made it 8-2 in the sixth."To see that ['79] group together and the trophy and the excitement of the fans, our guys were really into it," manager John Russell said. "The ['79] guys came into our dugout and were talking to some of our players and they thought it was very good."Maybe the Pirates are taking a liking to the beltless, '79-style throwback uniforms they are wearing this weekend, as they've scored 17 runs in two nights against the Reds, who were swept by Pittsburgh in three games in the 1979 NLCS. The Pirates wore pinstriped uniform tops and black pants, one of nine different uniform combinations they wore 30 years ago."It was cool," Lastings Milledge said. "It's been great to wear their uniforms, but we've got to get wins in our own jerseys."Pirates left-hander Phil Dumatrait pitched a scoreless eighth inning in his first appearance since July 8, 2008. He had left shoulder surgery a year ago and has spent most of this season rehabilitating.
Reds 3B Scott Rolen (concussion) will be activated off the 15-day disabled list Sunday. ... The Pirates have homered nine times in five games after going five consecutive games without a homer. ... Milledge, the left fielder, stretched out to make a sliding catch of Joey Votto's line drive into the left-center gap in the eighth. ... The Pirates' starting lineup began the game with a combined 43 homers, four fewer than major league leader Albert Pujols (39). ... The Reds were 2 for 5 with runners in scoring position after going 1 for 23 in their previous four games. ... Jones is 8 of 19 (.421) with eight RBIs during the winning streak. ... The 12 runs matched the Pirates' season high. They beat Washington 12-7 on May 18.