Johnny Cueto is on a roll and the Reds hitters joined him.
Cueto pitched six innings and allowed just three hits and a pair of walks. He left the game with nine strikeouts, one short of his career high.
The Reds batted around in each of the first two innings against, Charlie Morton. Scott Rolen hit a three-run home run in the first inning, his 11th. The blast to left preceeded, Jay Bruce's 409 ft. bomb to right by two pitches. It was Bruce's fifth of the season and his first since April 29 at Houston.
"I didn't go up there thinking this is my first of May," Bruce said. "I was called up two years ago today. Last year on May 27 I hit two home runs. This date is a pretty good day. Home runs are nice whenever you hit them."
The Reds scored four in the first and three in the second in a game that was never in doubt.
"Johnny did a good job, we hit well and played good defense," Bruce said.
Cueto stranded all five base runners and the Pirates never touched third while he was on the hill.
Cueto (5-1), who won his fifth straight decision, left the game on Saturday with a blister on his right index finger. He's had treatment but it prevented him from using his slider.
"He threw a lot of pitches in that last inning," Dusty Baker said. "Plus we wanted to see Del Rosario, Fish and Linc needed some work so when we got to 100 pitches, we got them in. We haven't had too many of these where we jumped out way ahead. The Pirates played us tough the last two nights."
"It burned a little bit," Cueto said. "It shouldn't bother me next time."
It was a week ago today that the Reds jumped ahead of Atlanta, 8-0 in the second inning but lost the game with a seven-run ninth inning implosion.
"We learned from Atlanta not to get comfortable, to keep grinding and play nine innings," Baker said.
Bruce said the Reds memory was short.
"Those stuff happens," Bruce said. "It was a tough loss but at the end of the day, nobody really remembers it. It's just a loss."
Miguel Cairo, who replaced Joey Votto due to the latter's stiff neck, had three hits and elevated his batting average from .216 to .262. Rolen, Bruce and Johnny Gomes had two hits each.
Brandon Phillips, who was the only position player without a hit, left the game after the seventh inning. He appeared shaken up after trying to flag down a ground ball single to right by Andy LaRoche.
Enerio Del Rosario, Carlos Fisher and Mike Lincoln mopped up. Del Rosario and Lincoln allowed a run each.