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Votto caps Reds' rally with bases-loaded single against Pirates

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- At this point in another dismal season, the Cincinnati Reds are looking for any reason to feel a little better about themselves.

How about this: At least they're not in last place.

Joey Votto hit a solo homer and a tiebreaking, bases-loaded single in the eighth inning Thursday, completing the Reds' rally from a five-run deficit to an 8-6 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, who got to stay all by their lonesome at the bottom of the NL Central standings.

"It was real important for us," manager Dusty Baker said. "They were gaining on us, trying to get out of last place."

Instead, the Pirates blew a big early lead, gave up three runs in the eighth inning and lost for the 11th time in their last 13 games. A victory over the Reds would have completed a series sweep and left the two teams tied in the loss column.

"You couldn't have scripted a better day," manager John Russell lamented. "We're going for a sweep and we're spotted five runs."

Craig Hansen (0-3) couldn't hold a one-run lead in the eighth, when his wild pitch let in the tying run. Hansen has given up runs in six of his nine appearances with the Pirates, who got him from Boston as part of the three-team trade involving outfielder Jason Bay.

He came in throwing 96 mph fastballs, but most of them were off the mark. He walked two of the batters he faced and threw the wild pitch.

"He was trying to do too much in a situation like that," Russell said. "He wants to come in and throw hard and dominate the inning, and it got away from him."

Votto's run-scoring single off T.J. Beam put the Reds ahead for the first time, and Edwin Encarnacion followed with a sacrifice fly.

Nick Masset (1-0), who came to the Reds in the trade that sent Ken Griffey Jr. to the White Sox, got the victory despite giving up a solo homer to Nate McLouth in the eighth. Francisco Cordero pitched out of a threat in the ninth for his 27th save in 33 chances.

"Generally, we're just finishing off strong, trying to win as many as we can and hope it transfers to next year," Votto said.

The Pirates swept the first series at Great American Ball Park in 2003. Since then, the two mirror-image franchises have shared misery and, quite often, the bottom spots in the NL Central.

At 59-80, the Pirates are two defeats away from clinching their 16th straight losing season, which would tie the major-league record held by the 1933-48 Phillies. The Reds are 62-78, leaving them within four defeats of their eighth straight losing season. It's their longest such slump in a half-century.

The Pirates pulled ahead 5-0 in the second inning against Josh Fogg, who left after three innings with a strained groin. Chris Gomez hit a two-run shot off Fogg, the 37-year-old infielder's first homer since April 14, 2007, when his grand slam off Kansas City's Joel Peralta accounted for his only homer of last season.

It was another poor showing by Fogg, who has only one victory in 10 starts since returning from a sore back. His ERA over that span is 6.30. He strained his groin while tagging up on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third.

The Reds pulled even by scoring a run in five consecutive innings off left-hander Tom Gorzelanny and the Pirates bullpen. Jay Bruce and Votto hit solo homers.

"I was just trying to do too much," Gorzelanny said. "I left a lot of balls up."

Notes

  • Pittsburgh plays three in San Francisco over the weekend. The Pirates have won 13 of their last 15 against the Giants.
  • In three starts since he was recalled from Triple-A, Gorzelanny is 0-2 with a 6.61 ERA.
  • McLouth's homer was his 24th, leaving him four shy of the club record for a center fielder set by Brian Giles in 1999.
  • Reds RH Ramon Ramirez made his second big-league appearance and singled for his first major-league hit.
 
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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Joey Votto delivers the winner here as Cincy comes back from a five-run deficit.  (AP)
Joey Votto delivers the winner here as Cincy comes back from a five-run deficit. (AP)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

C. Gomez
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Cincinnati

J. Votto
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
Nate McLouth, CF3211011 .272
Chris Gomez, 2B4222010 .289
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B2100200 .273
Jason Michaels, LF4000014 .226
Andy LaRoche, 3B3001000 .168
   a- Nyjer Morgan, PH1000010 .242
Steve Pearce, RF3012000 .230
    Jesse Chavez, P0000000 .000
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .333
    Craig Hansen, P0000000 .000
    T.J. Beam, P0000000 .000
   b- Adam LaRoche, PH1000000 .260
Luis Cruz, SS3000001 .143
   c- Freddy Sanchez, PH0000100 .257
Raul Chavez, C3110000 .257
   d- Ryan Doumit, PH1010000 .323
    Brian Bixler, PR0000000 .165
Tom Gorzelanny, P1000010 .111
    Jason Davis, P0000000 .000
    Brandon Moss, RF2000012 .271
Totals3166636  
a-struck out for LaRoche in the 9th
b-grounded out for Beam in the 9th
c-walked for L. Cruz in the 9th
d-singled for Chavez in the 9th
Batting
HR - Nate McLouth (24, Masset), Chris Gomez (1, Fogg)
SH - Tom Gorzelanny (6)
RBI - Nate McLouth (79), Chris Gomez 2 (20), Andy LaRoche (14), Steve Pearce 2 (9)
2-OUT RBI - Chris Gomez 2 (13), Steve Pearce 2 (4)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Mientkiewicz-L. Cruz
Pittsburgh Pirates
Tom Gorzelanny 3.2733251 6.64
Jason Davis 1.1111101 5.46
Jesse Chavez 0.2211000 8.10
Sean Burnett 1.1000010 5.06
Craig Hansen (BS,4; L,1-6) 0.1133200 6.80
T.J. Beam 0.2100000 3.89
HBP - Encarnacion (by Jason Davis), B. Phillips (by T.J. Beam)
WP - Tom Gorzelanny (5), Jason Davis (5), Craig Hansen (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Tom Gorzelanny 82-48, Jason Davis 20-10, Jesse Chavez 16-10, Sean Burnett 23-12, Craig Hansen 11-3, T.J. Beam 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tom Gorzelanny 1-5, Jason Davis 1-2, Jesse Chavez 2-0, Sean Burnett 2-1, Craig Hansen 1-0
Batters Faced - Tom Gorzelanny 20, Jason Davis 6, Jesse Chavez 4, Sean Burnett 4, Craig Hansen 4, T.J. Beam 4
Cincinnati Reds
Chris Dickerson, CF-LF3020112 .333
Jeff Keppinger, SS2112101 .263
Brandon Phillips, 2B4011003 .263
Joey Votto, 1B5122024 .294
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B2001120 .251
Jay Bruce, RF5111016 .257
Ryan Hanigan, C3000100 .278
Wilkin Castillo, LF3210101 .400
    Francisco Cordero, P0000000 .000
Josh Fogg, P1110000 .136
    Ramon Ramirez, P1010000 .250
   a- Andy Phillips, PH1110000 .217
    Nick Masset, P0000000 .000
   b- Corey Patterson, PH-CF1110000 .202
Totals31812756  
a-singled for Ramirez in the 6th
b-hit a bunt single for Masset in the 8th
Batting
2B - Chris Dickerson (8, Gorzelanny), Jeff Keppinger (19, Gorzelanny), Wilkin Castillo (1, Gorzelanny), Josh Fogg (1, Gorzelanny)
HR - Joey Votto (17, Davis), Jay Bruce (15, Gorzelanny)
SF - Jeff Keppinger (4), Edwin Encarnacion (4)
SH - Chris Dickerson (1), Jeff Keppinger (6)
RBI - Jeff Keppinger 2 (35), Brandon Phillips (77), Joey Votto 2 (67), Edwin Encarnacion (59), Jay Bruce (42)
2-OUT RBI - Jeff Keppinger (14)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Keppinger-Votto
E - Brandon Phillips (7, Throwing)
Cincinnati Reds
Josh Fogg 3455111 7.58
Ramon Ramirez 3000020 2.70
Nick Masset (W,2-0) 2111121 3.98
Francisco Cordero (S,27) 1100110 3.52
HBP - McLouth (by Josh Fogg)
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Fogg 59-37, Ramon Ramirez 46-33, Nick Masset 25-17, Francisco Cordero 24-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Fogg 4-4, Ramon Ramirez 4-3, Nick Masset 2-1, Francisco Cordero 2-0
Batters Faced - Josh Fogg 15, Ramon Ramirez 9, Nick Masset 7, Francisco Cordero 5
Game Information
Attendance - 20626
Game Time - 3:14
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Wally Bell, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Paul Schrieber, Third Base - Kerwin Danley