Reds rally late to beat Pirates
Chris Heisey to cap a three-run eighth inning, lifting the injury-riddled
Cincinnati Reds to a 6-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Devin Mesoraco belted a two-out solo homer to left off Tony Watson in the
eighth. Ryan Ludwick and Chris Heisey singled before Ramon Santiago tied the
game with his third hit of the night, an RBI base hit to center. Pena was
nearly retired, but his foul ball on the right side went just past the tarp
and caromed off the side wall. The next pitch from Watson (5-1) was lined into
Reds starter Mat Latos departed after five innings due to lower back spasms.
Latos surrendered three hits and four runs, three of which were earned.
Aroldis Chapman set an all-time major league record with at least one
strikeout in each of his last 40 appearances, surpassing the mark set by Bruce
Sutter for the Chicago Cubs in 1977. Chapman struck out the side, breezing a
103 mph fastball by a swinging pinch-hitter Matt Hague to end the game.
Chapman nailed down his 20th save and Cincinnati’s sixth win in seven games.
Curtis Partch (1-0) walked the bases full in the eighth, but escaped the jam
by fanning pinch-hitter Ike Davis and picked up his first big league victory.
Pedro Alvarez belted a three-run shot and Andrew McCutchen added a solo blast
in the fourth inning for the Pirates, losers in four of their last five games.
Pirates starter Jeff Locke allowed nine hits and three runs — one earned –
over 6 1/3 innings. The lefty fanned five without walking a batter.
In the second inning, Latos pulled up after running hard to first base
following a bunt. He was checked on twice at the mound by manager Bryan Price
and a trainer before leaving.
It’s the second straight day a Reds starter has had to leave a game early.
Homer Bailey departed in the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against the Cubs
with pain in the patellar tendon in his right knee.
Cincinnati’s first run came due to the fancy footwork of Billy Hamilton. He
bunted the first pitch from Locke to the right of the mound. First baseman
Gaby Sanchez made the pick-up and tried to tag out Hamilton, but he stopped
and contorted his body to somehow avoid the tag before diving to the
base, just before Sanchez could reach it himself.
Locke’s second pitch of the night was banged off the wall in left field by
Zack Cozart, with the speedy Hamilton sliding home ahead of the tag.
In the bottom of the third, the Reds chose not to challenge a call when
Hamilton was called out trying to steal second, even though replays showed his
foot appeared to reach the base before Jordy Mercer applied the tag. Hamilton
threw down his helmet in disgust in the dugout.
McCutchen homered to center with one out in the fourth. Walker then reached
base on an error from Jay Bruce, starting at first base for only the third
time in his career. Russell Martin walked ahead of Alvarez’s 15th homer of the
year, an estimated 419-foot blast to right.
McCutchen doubled in the sixth off Carlos Contreras and scored on Martin’s
lined single to center for a 5-1 Pittsburgh cushion.
Santiago doubled in a run in the seventh and scored on Hamilton’s groundout
later in the inning.
The Reds put second baseman Brandon Phillips on the 15-day disabled list due
to a torn ligament in his left thumb. He will have surgery and be sidelined
for at least six weeks. In other moves on Friday, the Reds optioned catcher
Tucker Barnhart to Triple- A Louisville, while recalling Contreras and pitcher
Curtis Patch from Louisville … Hamilton notched his 10th 3-hit game of the
year … Mesoraco increased his career-high HR total to 16 … The Reds are
8-3 this year against the Pirates.