|Cincinnati (78-55) «||0||0||0||0||0||0||6||0||x||6||8||0|
CINCINNATI -- No. 1 for Aroldis Chapman. Eight and counting for his new team.
The Cuban left-hander hit 103 mph on the radar gun during another sizzling inning Wednesday night, then got his first big-league win when the Cincinnati Reds rallied for a 6-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers that pushed their NL Central lead to eight games.
Big numbers all around.
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The Cuban left-hander threw two pitches that clocked 103 mph -- his fastest yet -- in his second straight unhittable performance.
"I'm really happy to have my first win," Chapman said, through a translator. "I'm very proud of it. I didn't have any expectations about coming to the major leagues. I just wanted to get here and stay here."
Now, the Reds take their 22-year-old pitching sensation on the road for the first time, heading to St. Louis for a weekend series that's less of a showdown and more about survival for the defending champs.
"There's more pressure on them than there is on us," said right-hander Bronson Arroyo, who will start Friday. "So we can go in and play good baseball, try not to get in any kind of scuffles, and hopefully leave one game better.
"We've got a bigger lead than we could have ever asked for at this point in the season. We're better than we wanted to be."
And they've got Chapman to help them stay there.
The Reds trailed 1-0 when he came on and got the radar gun and the crowd rocking during a 1-2-3 seventh inning. In his first two big-league appearances, Chapman has retired the six batters he faced, fanning three -- all on sliders. He has thrown 19 pitches in all, 10 of them clocked at triple digits.
His latest three-figure performance seemed to do more than just thrill the crowd.
"That was probably another factor," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "He comes in and pitches an inning and energizes the crowd, everybody."
When the left-hander jogged to the mound on Wednesday, one fan held up a sign proclaiming: "Chapmania."
Not even close. Only 19,218 fans showed up Tuesday to watch his radar-busting debut. A day later, the crowd was down to 16,412.
Sounded louder once Chapman got going. And it stayed loud in the bottom of the seventh, when the Reds sent 11 batters to the plate for six runs. Ryan Hanigan's pinch-hit, three-run homer in the seventh off Todd Coffey (2-3) set up the Reds' three-game sweep.
"That seems to be the story of the season for us," said left-hander Chris Narveson, who turned the 1-0 lead over to the bullpen. "A lot of times we'll have a game where we feel we have control and all of a sudden -- boom -- it will get out of control."
St. Louis swept a three-game series in Cincinnati from Aug. 9-11, getting the best of everything except a brawl incited by second baseman Brandon Phillips' derogatory comments. The sweep left the Cardinals a game ahead with a 10-5 mark against Cincinnati.
Since then, everything has changed.
The Reds had the best record in the majors during August. The Cardinals have melted down, losing 13 of their last 16 games while sliding out of the race. Their final series with the Reds represents perhaps their final chance to get back into it.
"We're trying to build on it," Hanigan said. "We can't take anything for granted. We're not comfortable yet."
Phillips was out of the starting lineup for the sixth straight game Wednesday because of a bruised right hand. Manager Dusty Baker said he could be back in the lineup in St. Louis.
Cardinals fans won't get a chance to boo starter Johnny Cueto, who kicked pitcher Chris Carpenter and catcher Jason LaRue during their brawl in Cincinnati. Cueto got a seven-game suspension, forcing him to miss a start. He gave up five hits and one run in six innings on Wednesday before turning it over to Chapman.Notes
|Aroldis Chapman throws more heat on Wednesday and also picks up his first big-league win. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Rickie Weeks, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.271|
|Corey Hart, RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.277|
|Ryan Braun, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.300|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.269|
|Casey McGehee, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.285|
|Lorenzo Cain, CF||4||1||1||0||0||0||2||.300|
|Alcides Escobar, SS||3||0||1||0||0||2||2||.251|
|Jonathan Lucroy, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.265|
|Chris Narveson, P||2||0||2||1||0||0||0||.341|
|Todd Coffey, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Michael McClendon, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Zach Braddock, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Joe Inglett, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.270|
|Jeremy Jeffress, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-struck out for Braddock in the 8th|
|RBI - Chris Narveson (7)|
|2-OUT RBI - Chris Narveson (6)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Lucroy-Weeks, Weeks-Escobar-Fielder|
|Todd Coffey (BS,2; L,2-3)||0||3||3||3||0||0||1||4.47|
|HBP - Cairo (by Chris Narveson), Rolen (by Chris Narveson)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chris Narveson 97-57, Todd Coffey 8-5, Michael McClendon 6-2, Zach Braddock 15-10, Jeremy Jeffress 11-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Narveson 8-4, Zach Braddock 1-1, Jeremy Jeffress 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Chris Narveson 24, Todd Coffey 3, Michael McClendon 2, Zach Braddock 4, Jeremy Jeffress 3|
|Drew Stubbs, CF||3||1||0||0||1||0||1||.239|
|Chris Heisey, RF||4||1||1||0||0||2||1||.262|
|Joey Votto, 1B||2||0||0||0||2||0||0||.325|
|Scott Rolen, 3B||3||0||2||2||0||1||0||.296|
|Jonny Gomes, LF||4||0||0||0||0||2||5||.260|
|Ramon Hernandez, C||2||0||0||0||1||1||3||.304|
|Brandon Phillips, PR||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||.290|
|a- Yonder Alonso, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.000|
|Nick Masset, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Francisco Cordero, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Miguel Cairo, 2B||3||1||2||1||0||0||2||.292|
|Paul Janish, SS||4||1||1||0||0||0||3||.265|
|Johnny Cueto, P||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||.133|
|Aroldis Chapman, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Ryan Hanigan, PH-C||2||1||1||3||0||0||0||.286|
|a-grounded out for B. Phillips in the 7th|
|b-homered for Chapman in the 7th|
|2B - Scott Rolen (30, Narveson), Miguel Cairo (10, Coffey)|
|HR - Ryan Hanigan (5, Coffey)|
|RBI - Scott Rolen 2 (78), Miguel Cairo (25), Ryan Hanigan 3 (36)|
|CS - Drew Stubbs (4, 2nd base by Narveson/Lucroy)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Outfield Assists - Jonny Gomes 1|
|Aroldis Chapman (W,1-0)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||0.00|
|Pitches-Strikes - Johnny Cueto 108-64, Aroldis Chapman 11-9, Nick Masset 11-8, Francisco Cordero 11-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johnny Cueto 7-8, Aroldis Chapman 1-0, Francisco Cordero 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Johnny Cueto 23, Aroldis Chapman 3, Nick Masset 3, Francisco Cordero 4|
|Attendance - 16412|
|Game Time - 2:56|
|Temperature - 90|
|Umpires - Home - Todd Tichenor, First Base - Gary Cederstrom, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - Field Culbreth|