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Cincinnati «000100002391

Clayton's ninth-inning pinch-hit lifts Reds over Cubs

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati almost wasted Aaron Harang's great effort Sunday, then Royce Clayton stepped in and rescued the Reds.

Clayton's pinch-hit single on the 11th pitch of his at-bat in the ninth inning drove in Chris Denorfia and lifted Cincinnati over the Chicago Cubs 3-2 Sunday.

Clayton hit for Dewayne Wise with one out and the bases loaded in the ninth. He grounded a Scott Eyre pitch through the Cubs' drawn-in infield to cap Cincinnati's two-run rally in its last at-bat.

"I was just up there trying to battle," Clayton said. "I knew if I hooked one to third base, it could be a double play, so I was trying to stay up the middle. (Eyre) knew it, too. That was the strategical battle. I was trying to go the other way, he was trying to make me pull the ball."

The Cubs led 2-1 in the ninth but Ryan Dempster (1-9) had his ninth blown save of the season. Pinch-hitter Todd Hollandsworth led off with a double and Dempster uncorked two wild pitches that allowed pinch-runner Ray Olmedo to score.

"I put Scott in a bad situation," said Dempster, who hasn't had a save since Aug. 14 in a 3-0 win at Houston.

Denorfia then singled to left and moved to third on Scott Hatteberg's base hit. Dempster issued an intentional walk to Rich Aurilia and was relieved by Eyre, who gave up Clayton's hit.

"That was a professional at-bat," said Reds manager Jerry Narron, whose team improved to 41-39 at Great American Ball Park and guaranteed a second consecutive winning home season. "I don't know how many pitches it was, but any time you have a 10-pitch at-bat, it's huge."

Aaron Harang (15-11) allowed six hits in his fifth complete game of the season, tied for the most in the National League. He also struck out nine and didn't walk a batter, extending to 79 his streak of consecutive starts without walking more than three batters -- the fourth-longest current streak in the major leagues. He threw 87 of his 110 pitches for strikes.

He wiggled out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the ninth with the help of third baseman Edwin Encarnacion, who flagged down a chopper up the line by rookie Buck Coats and hustled to tag third base for the inning-ending forceout.

"I didn't have that many pitches going into the ninth," Harang said. "They were battling me. For (Narron) to let me stay out there and get the win was huge."

"I thought he was going to have a complete game with 90 pitches," Narron said. "I looked up there in the sixth and he had something like 60 pitches and 10 balls. I was going to give him every chance in the world to win that game."

Aramis Ramirez lined the first pitch he saw from Harang in the fourth inning 389 feet into the left-center field seats for his career-high 37th homer. He hit 36 in 2004, his first full season with Chicago after being acquired from Pittsburgh in the middle of the 2003 season.

Ramirez also tied Houston's Lance Berkman for the most home runs at Great American Ball Park by an opposing player with 12.

The Reds tied it in the bottom half when Norris Hopper's groundout to second scored Encarnacion, but Coats gave the Cubs the lead in the eighth with his first career homer in his first major league start.

Cubs starter Juan Mateo, who left his last start on Sept. 15 against Cincinnati after three hitless innings with lower back stiffness, allowed a run and three hits in five innings Sunday. He struck out four and walked four.

"Mateo did a good job in his first time out in a while," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "We got him out of there because we didn't want his back flaring up again."

Notes

  • Reds 1B Hatteberg's fifth-inning error snapped at 100 his streak of consecutive games without an error, the longest streak in the major leagues for a first baseman this season. The error was his first since May 5 at Arizona.
  • CF Juan Pierre stole second base in the first inning to become the first Cubs player in 100 years with more than 55 stolen bases in a season. Frank Chance had 57 stolen bases in 1906.
  • Reds LF Adam Dunn was ejected by plate umpire Jeff Nelson after arguing about a called third strike in the first inning. The ejection was the second of Dunn's career and first since June 13, 2003, when he was ejected for charging Phillies pitcher Carlos Silva.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Cincinnati

A. Harang
IP 9.0
H 6
ER 2
BB 0
K 9
Chicago

A. Ramirez
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Chicago Cubs
Juan Pierre, CF4010000 .290
Freddie Bynum, 2B4010011 .254
    Ryan Dempster, P0000000 .000
    Scott Eyre, P0000000 .000
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4111002 .290
Matt Murton, LF4000011 .294
Scott Moore, 1B3000010 .280
    Bob Howry, P00000001.000
   a- Ryan Theriot, PH-2B1010000 .336
Henry Blanco, C4010020 .260
Buck Coats, RF4111003 .176
Ronny Cedeno, SS3000031 .245
Juan Mateo, P2000011 .000
    Michael Wuertz, P0000000 .000
    Will Ohman, P00000001.000
   b- John Mabry, PH-1B1000000 .211
Totals34262099 
a-singled for Howry in the 9th
b-popped out for Ohman in the 8th
Batting
HR - Aramis Ramirez (37, Harang), Buck Coats (1, Harang)
RBI - Aramis Ramirez (114), Buck Coats (1)
SB - Juan Pierre (56, 2nd base off Harang/LaRue), Freddie Bynum (8, 2nd base off Harang/LaRue)
Team LOB - 5
Chicago Cubs
Juan Mateo 5311440 4.09
Michael Wuertz 1.2000120 2.63
Will Ohman 0.1000010 4.22
Bob Howry (H,21) 1200020 3.18
Ryan Dempster (BS,9; L,1-9) 0.1322110 5.00
Scott Eyre0100000 2.85
IBB - LaRue by Juan Mateo, Aurilia by Ryan Dempster
WP - Ryan Dempster 2 (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Juan Mateo 86-46, Michael Wuertz 22-14, Will Ohman 5-3, Bob Howry 16-14, Ryan Dempster 24-11, Scott Eyre 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Juan Mateo 6-5, Michael Wuertz 2-1
Batters Faced - Juan Mateo 22, Michael Wuertz 6, Will Ohman 1, Bob Howry 5, Ryan Dempster 5, Scott Eyre 1
Cincinnati Reds
Chris Denorfia, CF4120100 .256
Scott Hatteberg, 1B2010311 .288
Rich Aurilia, SS4000104 .296
Adam Dunn, LF1000012 .239
    Dewayne Wise, LF3010001 .219
   a- Royce Clayton, PH1011000 .258
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B4120002 .287
Brandon Phillips, 2B4010012 .281
Norris Hopper, RF4001022 .267
Jason LaRue, C2000110 .187
   b- Todd Hollandsworth, PH1010000 .249
    Ray Olmedo, PR0100000 .216
Aaron Harang, P3000032 .114
   c- Juan Castro, PH1000011 .245
Totals3439261017 
a-singled for Wise in the 9th
b-doubled for LaRue in the 9th
c-struck out for Harang in the 9th
Batting
2B - Todd Hollandsworth (17, Dempster)
RBI - Royce Clayton (39), Norris Hopper (5)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
E - Scott Hatteberg (4, )
Cincinnati Reds
Aaron Harang (W,15-11) 9622092 3.83
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Harang 110-87
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Harang 9-10
Batters Faced - Aaron Harang 34
Game Information
Attendance - 22226
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Jeff Nelson, First Base - Adam Dowdy, Second Base - Randy Marsh, Third Base - Tim Timmons