Cincy gouges Pirates' Gorzelanny for ninth straight home win

CINCINNATI (AP) -- For the first time in its six years, Great American Ball Park feels like home.

David Ross' homer put the finishing touch on a six-run first inning off left-hander Tom Gorzelanny, and the Cincinnati Reds extended their home winning streak to nine games Wednesday night with a 9-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Ross drove in four runs overall, and rookie Jay Bruce had a double and a pair of walks as the Reds extended their best home winning streak since 1980, when they won nine straight at Riverfront Stadium.

"It's nice to be home," Ross said. "That road trip took a lot out of us."

The Reds needed some home-field advantage when they returned from a 2-5 trip to the West Coast, one that finished with an 18-inning loss in San Diego on Sunday.

"You have to feel like you can come home and win," manager Dusty Baker said. "If you look up and down the leagues, very few teams are winning on the road. A lot of good teams are struggling on the road. You've got to win somewhere."

They were in control of this one right from the start.

Gorzelanny (4-5) retired only two of the eight batters he faced during the shortest of his 54 starts in the majors. He gave up four hits and a pair of walks, and threw a wild pitch that set up a run.

"It's embarrassing to do something like that," said Gorzelanny, who threw only 18 strikes out of 38 pitches. "I've never done this before. I don't know what to say other than I can't believe it."

Ross hit Gorzelanny's final pitch into the seats in center for a two-run homer, his first since Sept. 2. The catcher missed most of spring training and the first three weeks of the season with a sore lower back.

Ross later singled home a run and drew a bases-loaded walk that made it 9-1 in the seventh. Joey Votto had three hits for the second straight game and scored three times.

The early lead was helpful for Bronson Arroyo (4-4), pitching on short rest to help Cincinnati's rotation in disarray. Arroyo volunteered to go on three days of rest after the Reds used starters Aaron Harang and Edinson Volquez during the 18-inning loss in San Diego on Sunday.

"We got six runs early, and that made things a lot easier," Arroyo said. "I could throw batting-practice fastballs. I didn't feel the greatest, but our defense was great, and I was lucky enough to get them to pop up some pitches."

Arroyo allowed one run and three hits in six innings, throwing 97 pitches. The right-hander is adept at coming back quickly, going 2-0 in five career starts on short rest with a 2.14 ERA.

"That's probably the worst I've felt on three days' rest," Arroyo said. "I haven't felt my best since we got back from the road trip, but that big start made me able to pitch a lot easier. I've just been feeling sluggish. I had no zip on my fastball."

Bruce, who had a sensational debut in the series opener, got a more reserved reaction from fans the second time around. He went 1-for-3 with a double, a pair of walks and his second stolen base.

The first-round draft pick went 3-for-3 with a pair of walks during a 9-6 win on Tuesday night, reaching base in all five plate appearances. Fans gave him a standing ovation and yelled "BRUUUCE!" each time he came through.

The 21-year-old outfielder got applause and walked in the first inning Wednesday, then flied out. His streak of reaching safely in his first six plate appearances was the longest since 1977, when Boston's Ted Cox went 6-for-6 with a walk in his first seven times up in the majors.

Gorzelanny missed a scheduled start on May 6 because of pain in his lower back. He said he felt fine physically on Wednesday, and had an encouraging warm-up session in the bullpen before the game.

Once he took the mound, he lost his control.

"My back is good, my shoulder is good, my elbow is good," he said. "Everything is good. I just need to get out there and show it."

Game notes
The Pirates will give LHP Zach Duke an extra day before his next start to tend to a callus on the middle finger of his pitching hand. Instead of pitching Thursday against Cincinnati, he'll start a day later against St. Louis. LHP Phil Dumatrait, claimed off waivers from the Reds, will take his place. ... Reliever Franquelis Osoria threw a career-high 4 1-3 innings in relief of Gorzelanny. ... The Reds optioned OF Corey Patterson to Triple-A Louisville to fix his swing. Patterson was in an 0-for-18 slump that dropped his average to .200.