Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Kristopher Negron hit a three-run homer and Todd Frazier added a two-run shot, as Cincinnati took down Pittsburgh, 6-3, in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Chris Heisey doubled twice among his three hits, while Devin Mesoraco hit safely twice and drove in the other run for the Reds, who won the set and head into the All-Star break with seven wins in their last nine outings.
Johnny Cueto (10-6) produced his 18th quality start of the season, allowing three runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and two walks over six effective innings. Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth for his 21st save.
Neil Walker homered and drove in two for the Pirates, losers in five of their last seven. Josh Harrison added an RBI in defeat.
Activated from the 15-day DL prior to the contest, Francisco Liriano (1-7) walked six over four full frames and permitted three runs on as many hits in the loss.
"I was a little excited going out to pitch," Liriano said of his first start since June 10. "I tried to do too much."
The Reds gained some separation in the home sixth, as Billy Hamilton singled against Vance Worley, and two batters later a line-drive shot that barely cleared the wall in right from Frazier provided a 6-3 advantage. Cincy later had runners on first and second, but Brayan Pena fanned to limit the damage.
Jumbo Diaz, Jonathan Broxton and Chapman combined to retire the final nine Pittsburgh batters.
Cincinnati jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second. Heisey doubled, Mesoraco worked a one-out walk and Negron's first career homer -- an opposite-field blast -- landed just over the wall in right.
"Negron is a tempo guy," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "You could tell it was a surreal moment for him because he was flying around the bases. It was a lifetime achievement."
Pittsburgh picked up a run in the fourth, as Andrew McCutchen turned a bloop to right into a triple and scored when Walker grounded to short.
The visitors climbed back within a run in the fifth. Pedro Alvarez led off with a walk, Travis Snider walked two batters later and, following a 56-minute delay, Harrison's two-out hit scored Alvarez.
Mesoraco doubled home Jay Bruce in the home fifth, but a solo shot from Walker to begin the sixth made it 4-3.