CINCINNATI (AP) - Francisco Liriano was in trouble often, but it was just one bad pitch that really cost the Pittsburgh left-hander.
Liriano gave up Kris Negron’s first career home run, and All-Star Todd Frazier later added a two-run shot as the Cincinnati Reds rolled into the All-Star break with a 6-3 win over the Pirates on Sunday.
“I’ll learn from my mistakes and try to get better,” Liriano said.
Liriano made his first start since June 10 against the Chicago Cubs, when he strained his left oblique strain. He tied his season high by issuing six walks for the second time in three starts, and left the bases loaded in two of his four innings.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle wasn’t sure if Liriano would be rusty after being reinstated from the disabled list before the game.
“You’ve got to get him into a big league game to find out,” Hurdle said. “He threw one bad strike - one badly located strike. He’s got to be able to maintain his delivery. He has the ability to maintain his composure and his delivery.”
Hoping to get Liriano back on track as quickly as possible, Hurdle announced before the game that he would start the first game after the break on Friday against Colorado.
“I can’t wait for Friday,” Liriano said.
Liriano (1-7) allowed three hits and three runs with four strikeouts and a wild pitch.
Frazier lined a drive just inside the right-field foul pole on the first pitch from Vance Worley in the sixth to help the Pirates finish 2-5 on their road trip.
“We took another look at Frazier’s home run,” Hurdle said. “That was a good piece of hitting.”
The Reds went 8-3 on their 11-game homestand against Milwaukee, the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh to finish the first half 10-0-1 in series against those Central Division opponents. They are 0-3 in series against St. Louis.
Johnny Cueto, another Reds All-Star, overcame Neil Walker’s home run and a 56-minute rain delay in the fifth to last six innings. Cueto (10-6) allowed five hits and three runs with two walks and seven strikeouts. He also hit a batter.
Jubo Diaz pitched the seventh, and Jonathan Broxton worked the eighth before Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth for his 21st save.
Chapman’s fanning of leadoff batter Pedro Alvarez extended his record strikeout streak to 41 straight appearances.