CINCINNATI - Another win over a fading pursuer has Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips thinking about a really big number.
Phillips homered and drove in a pair of runs Tuesday night, and Mike Leake pitched seven innings and scored off a dash home on a wild pitch, setting up a 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that moved Cincinnati another step closer to the NL Central title.
"I'm trying to get to 100 wins and the No. 1 seed," Phillips said, referring to the playoffs. "A hundred wins would be nice. A hundred wins would be a beautiful thing. I think it would be a great accomplishment."
It would be something of a long shot - at 86-57, they'd have to win 14 of their last 19 games. They also would have to overtake Washington (88-54) for the top seed in the playoffs.
Another grind-it-out win on Tuesday kept them thinking big. Both teams were recovering from their 5-hour, 22-minute game on Monday night, won by the Reds 4-3 in 14 innings.
Cincinnati didn't show any after-effects.
"We played a very good game tonight in all phases," manager Dusty Baker said.
Leake (8-9) gave up nine hits, including Alex Presley's solo homer and pinch-hitter Gaby Sanchez's two-run shot. Leake singled and eventually scored during a decisive three-run second inning off Kevin Correia (10-9) aided by an error.
The Pirates have lost five in a row and 22 out of 31, falling out of contention in the NL Central. They trail the Reds by a season-high 13 games.
The deep slump also has left them at risk of extending their unmatched streak of futility. The Pirates haven't had a winning record for the last 19 seasons, a record for a North American pro team. The loss on Tuesday dropped them to 72-69.