|Cincinnati (68-79) «||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||x||3||6||0|
CINCINNATI -- A rookie pitcher with a bum finger and no career victories kept the Florida Marlins running in place.
Emergency starter Matt Maloney gritted it out for five innings to get his first big league victory Thursday night, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 3-2 victory that cost the Marlins a chance to gain ground in the NL wild-card chase.
The Marlins remained 4½ games behind Colorado and a game behind San Francisco, both of whom were off. They couldn't break their extended slump at Great American Ball Park, where they've dropped nine in a row.
Whenever they come to Cincinnati, things never quite add up. They fell behind 3-0 in the first inning and never made up the ground in the NL's most hitter-friendly ballpark.
"It held up," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "You figure with the way we're swinging the bats and the ballpark, it wouldn't."
It did, and a lot of it had to do with their inability to get to Maloney (1-4), who couldn't throw all his pitches because of a sore finger. The 25-year-old rookie was forced from a game on Sept. 8 because of a blister on the middle finger of his left hand, and hasn't fully recovered.
When scheduled starter Johnny Cueto got sick on Wednesday, the Reds decided to let Maloney give it a try. Maloney avoided throwing his cut fastball because it bothered his finger, staying with the softer stuff.
"It was sore, but I was able to get through it for the most part," Maloney said. "My sinker was good. I used it a lot more than I had the last couple starts."
Afterward, Maloney collected the lineup card and four balls from the game as keepsakes.
Right-hander Anibal Sanchez (2-7) gave up a leadoff home run by Darnell McDonald in the first, then let the Reds load the bases. Jay Bruce, making his second start since returning from a broken wrist, hit an opposite-field single for a 3-0 lead. Sanchez threw 39 pitches in what turned out to be the decisive inning.
"I was just trying to hit [catcher Ronny] Paulino in the strike zone," said Sanchez, who lasted five innings. "I wanted to try to make them swing."
The Marlins wasted chances to catch up by stranding runners in scoring position in the first, second, third and fifth innings.
"Rarely do you score three in the first like that and get no more and end up winning," manager Dusty Baker said.
Chris Coghlan had four hits for the Marlins, including a pair of doubles. The outfielder leads all NL rookies with 136 hits and 41 multihit games.
Hanley Ramirez, who is trying to become the Marlins' first NL batting champion, went 1 for 4 with a run-scoring single, dropping his average a point to .356. Ramirez became the ninth Marlin to drive in 100 runs in a season and the first since Miguel Cabrera in 2007. He's the second Marlin to drive in 100 and steal 20 -- Preston Wilson had 36 steals and a club-record 121 RBI in 2000.
Dan Uggla also doubled home a run off Maloney, extending his hitting streak to a season-high nine games. Florida failed to score off four Reds relievers. Francisco Cordero pitched a perfect ninth for his 38th save in 41 chances.
The Marlins have lingered in the wild-card race by winning 10 of their past 15. They've struggled against the Reds, losing 11 of their past 14 since 2007.
The Reds sold only 9,685 tickets for the game, the second-smallest gate in Great American Ball Park's seven-year history. The smallest was 9,087 for the second game of a day-night doubleheader against Pittsburgh on Aug. 31.
|Jay Bruce hits a bases-loaded single as part of a three-run first for the Reds. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Chris Coghlan, LF||4||1||4||0||0||0||0||.309|
|Nick Johnson, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.300|
|Hanley Ramirez, SS||4||1||1||1||0||0||4||.356|
|Jorge Cantu, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||4||.278|
|Dan Uggla, 2B||4||0||1||1||0||2||2||.246|
|Cody Ross, CF||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.274|
|Ronny Paulino, C||2||0||1||0||1||0||0||.270|
|a- Ross Gload, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.265|
|Brett Carroll, RF||3||0||1||0||0||1||1||.267|
|b- John Baker, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.270|
|Anibal Sanchez, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||3||.000|
|c- Gaby Sanchez, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.200|
|Burke Badenhop, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Renyel Pinto, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Tim Wood, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.500|
|d- Wes Helms, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.277|
|a-grounded out for Paulino in the 9th|
|b-struck out for Carroll in the 9th|
|c-grounded out for Sanchez in the 6th|
|d-struck out for Wood in the 9th|
|2B - Chris Coghlan 2 (23, Maloney, Maloney), Dan Uggla (24, Maloney)|
|RBI - Hanley Ramirez (100), Dan Uggla (80)|
|2-OUT RBI - Dan Uggla (33)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - H. Ramirez-N. Johnson|
|Anibal Sanchez (L,2-7)||5||5||3||3||3||7||1||4.50|
|Pitches-Strikes - Anibal Sanchez 98-59, Burke Badenhop 28-20, Renyel Pinto 5-1, Tim Wood 18-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Anibal Sanchez 3-5, Burke Badenhop 1-3, Tim Wood 3-0|
|Batters Faced - Anibal Sanchez 23, Burke Badenhop 6, Renyel Pinto 1, Tim Wood 4|
|Darnell McDonald, CF-LF||3||1||2||1||1||1||0||.256|
|Paul Janish, SS||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.218|
|Joey Votto, 1B||2||1||0||0||2||0||1||.303|
|Brandon Phillips, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.279|
|Scott Rolen, 3B||2||0||0||0||2||1||1||.305|
|Jonny Gomes, LF||4||0||1||0||0||0||4||.271|
|Francisco Cordero, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jay Bruce, RF||4||0||1||2||0||2||1||.210|
|Ryan Hanigan, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.267|
|Matt Maloney, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.222|
|Ramon Ramirez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Arthur Rhodes, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Drew Sutton, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.189|
|Nick Masset, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Drew Stubbs, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.252|
|a-flied out for Rhodes in the 7th|
|2B - Paul Janish (18, Sanchez), Brandon Phillips (27, Sanchez), Jonny Gomes (13, Sanchez)|
|HR - Darnell McDonald (2, Sanchez)|
|RBI - Darnell McDonald (9), Jay Bruce 2 (45)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jay Bruce 2 (18)|
|SB - Darnell McDonald (1, 2nd base off Sanchez/Paulino)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - B. Phillips-Votto|
|Matt Maloney (W,1-4)||5||7||2||2||1||3||0||5.35|
|Ramon Ramirez (H,2)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||6.00|
|Arthur Rhodes (H,25)||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||2.58|
|Nick Masset (H,17)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||2.60|
|Francisco Cordero (S,38)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||2.25|
|HBP - N. Johnson (by Matt Maloney)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Matt Maloney 96-65, Ramon Ramirez 6-6, Arthur Rhodes 9-6, Nick Masset 19-14, Francisco Cordero 10-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Maloney 3-9, Ramon Ramirez 1-1, Nick Masset 1-0, Francisco Cordero 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Matt Maloney 24, Ramon Ramirez 3, Arthur Rhodes 3, Nick Masset 3, Francisco Cordero 3|
|Attendance - 9685|
|Game Time - 2:51|
|Temperature - 77|
|Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - Adrian Johnson, Second Base - Derryl Cousins, Third Base - Jim Joyce|