Reds rip Nova, keeping Pirates from a lifeline sweep

[get_snippet] [theme-my-login show_title=0]
Joey Votto hits a single in the first inning off Iván Nova. - GETTY

CINCINNATI -- It was warm for September in southwest Ohio, but Iván Nova finally cooled down.

Nova's shortest start out of nine since changing teams on Aug. 1 set the stage for the Reds to take a 7-4 victory on Sunday afternoon at Great American Ball Park, preventing a four-game sweep by the visitors. The Pirates (74-75) have won five of eight on their ongoing 11-game trip.

"Every win right now is as important as any," said Sean Rodríguez, who continued his hot hitting with a home run in the sixth. "Whether you wanna call it 'crunch time' or you wanna call it 'go time.' "

Nova allowed five runs (four earned) in three innings before being lifted for a pinch-hitter. Prior to Sunday, the former Yankee had limited opponents to two runs or fewer in five consecutive starts, each of those lasting at least six innings.