CINCINNATI (AP) -Pittsburgh turned in the defensive gem, but it wasn't enough to overcome the one pitched by
The Cincinnati right-hander threw a three-hitter,
hit a two-run homer and the Reds overcame the Pirates' triple play in a 2-0 victory on Sunday.
Harang (1-1) faced just three batters over the minimum while pitching the sixth shutout and 12th complete game of his career.
The right-hander threw 108 pitches, 80 for strikes, while improving to 12-5 against the Pirates.
''They knew I was throwing strikes,'' Harang said. ''I was hitting my spots on the outside corner, but keeping them honest
on the inside part of the plate. They couldn't lean out over the plate.''
Said Pittsburgh manager
: ''He's not a veteran, winning pitcher in the majors for nothing. When he's hitting his spots like that, he's tough to beat.''
It was the first complete-game shutout of the year in the majors, and the earliest for Cincinnati since
threw one against the
San Diego Padres
on April 4, 1999.
''It's rare that you have a complete game that early,'' Reds manager
said. ''It shows you what kind of shape he's in.''
The Reds managed only two runs and five hits over six innings against Pittsburgh right-hander
(0-2), but had a chance to add to their lead in the eighth inning with
on first and
hit a blooper into short left that was easily caught by
, who threw to
at second base to double up Phillips. By then, Bruce was already at second, and Sanchez threw to first baseman
to complete the triple play.
''I didn't know it was a triple play,'' Phillips said. ''I thought it was a bloop to left, and I was running to touch home
It was the first triple play for the Pirates since Aug. 10, 1993, at St. Louis, and the first time the Reds had hit into a
triple play since April 21, 2007, against Philadelphia.
''That's the first one I've seen in person,'' Baker said. ''There was one when I was with the Dodgers, but I was in the bathroom.
I came out and asked what happened, and they told me there was a triple play.''
The Reds got the only runs they needed in the first when
led off with a double to left. Phillips followed two outs later with his first home run of the season as the Reds took the
first lead of a game for the first time this season.
The Pirates also had a chance to score in the first after
blooped a double to short right-center that hit off the base of Taveras's glove as he tried to make a diving catch.
Pittsburgh wound up stranding Morgan at second as Harang opened a stretch in which he retired 13 of 14 batters. He hit Morgan
with a pitch with two outs in the third inning, but caught him trying to steal second base.
''He hit his spots well,'' said right fielder
, who had one of the Pirates' three hits. ''He mixed in and out a lot and kept the ball down. He did his job.''
Harang, who lost on opening day despite giving up just one run in five innings, wound up striking out nine without issuing
''That was masterful,'' Baker said. ''Aaron was as sharp as we've seen him. I'll take that all day long. It was unbelievable.
He had a great changeup.''
The league leader in losses last season after going 6-17, Harang seemed to get stronger as the game went along, striking out
the side in the sixth inning and punctuating a dominant effort with his third strikeout of
to end the game.
''He's a good, quality ace,'' Snell said. ''That's why he's the leader of that rotation over there.''
Notes: The Reds left after Sunday's game for their longest trip of the season, 11 days and 10 games at Milwaukee, Houston
and Chicago. ''Two places we've got to improve on from last year are winning on the road and in our division,'' manager
said. ''We can do both at the same time.'' ... Phillips' home run was his first since last Aug. 22. He missed the last 17
games of last season with a broken right index finger. Phillips became the first Red other than
to homer this season. ... Pittsburgh 3B
is hitless in his first 14 at-bats of the season. He and his brother, Adam, are a combined 3-for-36.