The Reds made it three series wins in a row Thursday by beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 before a crowd of 18,896 on crisp afternoon at PNC Park.

This series win was especially sweet because it came in four-game series, thereby upping the degree of difficulty substantially.

The Reds are back to .500 for the first time since Game 2 of the season. Thursday's victory was their seventh in nine games.

Tony Cingrani shook off some early command issues to go six innings of one-run ball. Cingrani, 2-2, allowed a career-high six hits, walked two and struck out seven. He threw 103 pitches, 64 of which were strikes.

Ryan Ludwick delivered the big blow offensively with a two-run, two-out double in the sixth.

Command was an issue for Cingrani in the first for the second straight start. He walked Neil Walker on the 11th pitch of his at-bat. Andrew McCutchen followed with a chopper down the third base line. Frazier fielded it but had no play. The hit made McCutchen 8-for-11 in the series.

Cingrani got Gabby Sanchez to take a called third strike. Pedro Alvarez hit a hard grounder that went off Brandon Phillips' glove for a hit. He recovered and threw home, but Walker beat the throw with a slide.

Cingrani got out of it from there, but needed 30 pitches to get through the first.

Cingrani flirted with trouble in the second and third. In the second, center fielder Chris Heisey saved a run with diving catch of line smash. In the third, Cingrani made good pitches after the first two reached.

That put him on a roll. He retired nine in a row through five.

The Reds could get nothing going early against right-hander Brandon Cumpton, who was called up from Triple-A to make the start for the injured Wandy Rodriguez.