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Pirates Highlights

The names might not ring out like Rose, Morgan, Bench and the Big Red Machine.

But Tyler Naquin, Nick Castellanos, Jonathan India and these Cincinnati Reds are breaking loose for runs in bunches.

Naquin hit another leadoff homer and the high-scoring Reds kept rolling, backing Luis Castillo to rout the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-4 Wednesday for their fifth straight win.

Coming off their first playoff appearance in seven years, the Reds have started a season 5-1 for the first time since 2016.

“The determination to win games is there,” Reds manager David Bell said. “And by no means do I sense any sort of letup. Guys are way too smart for that. They know what’s ahead of us.”

Their 56 runs are the most in Reds franchise history through the first six games of a season. The 1976 team with Morgan, Rose, Bench and Tony Perez scored 51 en route to a second straight World Series championship.

The Pirates absorbed the brunt of Cincinnati’s rampage this week, outscored 30-8 in the three-game series sweep.

“We’re definitely ready to get out of Cincinnati,” manager Derek Shelton said.

Naquin jumped on Chad Kuhl’s first pitch for his second career leadoff home run, and second in as many days. He became the first Reds batter with leadoff home runs in consecutive appearances since Eddie Milner on June 24-25, 1984.

A day after hitting two homers and driving in seven runs, Naquin started the Reds toward another romp by keying a five-run first inning.

“I’m really happy for Tyler,” Bell said. “He’s getting some opportunities here early and he’s absolutely made the most of it and been a big part our first week.”

Castellanos homered in the fifth. Tyler Stephenson and Aristides Aquino hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth.

Castillo (1-1) neatly bounced back after allowing a career-high 10 runs on opening day to St. Louis. He shut out the Pirates on four hits for seven innings, striking out five and walking one.

“The catcher was calling my changeup, and it was working today,” Castillo said. “It is my second-best pitch. I didn’t (need to) throw my slider.”

Erik Gonzalez hit his first career grand slam in the Pirates ninth off Amir Garrett.

Kyle Farmer’s two-run double capped the big first off Kuhl (0-1).

“It starts with the energy in the clubhouse,” Farmer said. “Guys are hot right now. When everything is rolling well, hitting is contagious. So it just keeps rolling, and it’s a lot of fun to watch.”

The Pirates home opener Tomorrow at 1:35 the Chicago Cubs are making the trip from the Windy City to the Steel City

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