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Cincinnati at Baltimore

Scoreboard
Cincinnati (66-74)0020014007110
Baltimore (82-57) «60010020x9121

Orioles beat Reds 9-7 to complete 3-game sweep

By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer
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BALTIMORE (AP) It didn't matter to Buck Showalter that the Baltimore Orioles couldn't hold a six-run lead against a stumbling team that's already looking toward next year.

All Showalter cared about was that the Orioles found a way to beat the Cincinnati Reds 9-7 Thursday night.

''A `W' for Baltimore? That's the way I draw them up,'' the manager said. ''They don't have to be aesthetically pleasing. At this stage, I'm not looking for pretty, I'm looking for `W.' I thought it was beautiful. I thought it was real pretty.''

After completing a 9-2 homestand against Tampa Bay, Minnesota and the Reds, the AL East-leading Orioles (82-57) maintained their 9 1/2-game lead and are assured a third straight winning season for the first time since 1992-94.

Baltimore has 23 games left, all against AL East foes.

''The homestand, that was huge for us,'' said J.J. Hardy, who delivered a tiebreaking two-run single in the seventh inning. ''I think we had a chance to sweep every series. To take this one tonight was big, and now we've got all in division. It gets bigger.''

Nelson Cruz hit his major league-leading 37th home run in a six-run first inning, but the Reds chipped away and finally pulled even with a four-run seventh.

Nick Markakis led off the bottom half with a single off Manny Parra (0-2), and Hardy put Baltimore back in front with a bases-loaded single on a 3-1 pitch from Sam LeCure.

Tommy Hunter (3-2) worked 1 1-3 innings and Zach Britton got three outs for his 33rd save.

''There's a real will there to be satisfied with two out of three (after) they fought their way back, but our guys pushed back,'' Showalter said. ''We've being doing that a lot this year, pushing back.''

After watching the Reds get beat 6-0 on Wednesday - their 15th loss in 21 games - Cincinnati manager Bryan Price said he was going to ''see what we have in our system.''

His starting lineup contained five September call-ups and first baseman Jack Hannahan, who has no RBIs in 17 games this season.

''It would have been nice to hold on to win but I was proud of the way the guys came back,'' Pryce said. ''You get tired of sucking silver linings out of losses, but it was definitely some fun and entertaining things to watch.''

Devin Mesoraco went 4 for 4, hit his 21st home run and had four RBIs. But the Reds dropped to 66-74, the first time they've been eight games under .500 since Oct. 2, 2009.

Mesoraco doubled in two runs in the seventh to complete Cincinnati's comeback, but it wasn't good enough.

''Anytime you go back and forth with a team it shows the fight in you and that you aren't giving up,'' said leadoff hitter Jason Bourgeois, one of the call-ups. ''A lot of positives we can take from tonight.''

Cruz homered with a man on and newcomer Kelly Johnson doubled in a run before Nick Hundley capped the first-inning uprising against Mike Leake with a three-run shot.

Jonathan Schoop connected in the fourth to make it 7-2. The rookie has homered in three straight games.

Leake yielded a career high-tying seven runs on seven hits in four innings. The three home runs he allowed also matched a career high.

Orioles starter Chris Tillman gave up five hits over six innings. He left with Baltimore up 7-3.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Reds: RHP Homer Bailey will have surgery on his elbow Friday to repair a torn tendon. Bailey, who's on the 60-day DL, expects to be fully recovered by the start of spring training.

Orioles: 1B Steve Pearce, who has not played since Aug. 29 because of a strained abdominal muscle, hopes to return Saturday against Tampa Bay. Also, reliever Andrew Miller is day-to-day with a tender hamstring.

UP NEXT

Reds: Alfredo Simon, who's 1-6 in the second half, takes the mound Friday night for the opener of a series against the visiting New York Mets.

Orioles: Wei-Yin Chen (14-4) starts for the fifth time this season against Tampa Bay to launch a three-game series Friday night.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Cincinnati

D. Mesoraco
AB 4
R 2
H 4
HR 1
RBI 4
Baltimore

N. Cruz
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLG
Jason Bourgeois, CF-RF5220011.500.500.500
Ramon Santiago, 2B4110100.250.355.314
Todd Frazier, 3B4001123.273.335.447
Devin Mesoraco, DH4244000.286.365.542
Donald Lutz, LF4011013.216.275.324
   a-Chris Heisey, PH1000001.223.270.387
Yorman Rodriguez, RF3000011.000.000.000
   b-Brayan Pena, PH1000001.252.285.362
   Billy Hamilton, CF0000000.267.304.380
Jack Hannahan, 1B4010021.161.188.226
Jake Elmore, SS4010011.200.200.200
Tucker Barnhart, C3210102.150.227.225
Mike Leake, P0000000.169.183.322
   Pedro Villarreal, P0000000.500.500.500
   Manny Parra, P0000000.000.000.000
   Sam LeCure, P0000000.000.000.000
   Jumbo Diaz, P0000000.000.000.000
Totals37711638    
a-grounded out for Lutz in the 9th
b-grounded out for Y. Rodriguez in the 7th
Batting
2B - Devin Mesoraco (22, Brach), Jack Hannahan (2, Hunter)
HR - Devin Mesoraco (21, Tillman)
SF - Devin Mesoraco (3)
RBI - Todd Frazier (71), Devin Mesoraco 4 (69), Donald Lutz (1)
2-OUT RBI - Devin Mesoraco 2 (41), Donald Lutz (1)
Team LOB - 7
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Mike Leake 4777123 3.59
Pedro Villarreal 2100130 2.45
Manny Parra (L,0-2) 0.1111000 4.54
Sam LeCure 0.1211110 3.86
Jumbo Diaz 1.1100110 3.08
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Leake 78-50, Pedro Villarreal 30-19, Manny Parra 11-9, Sam LeCure 18-7, Jumbo Diaz 26-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Leake 7-3, Manny Parra 1-0, Jumbo Diaz 2-1
Batters Faced - Mike Leake 20, Pedro Villarreal 7, Manny Parra 2, Sam LeCure 4, Jumbo Diaz 6
Baltimore Orioles
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLG
Nick Markakis, RF4220100.281.342.391
Alejandro De Aza, LF4010001.246.310.355
Adam Jones, CF5110013.285.318.465
Nelson Cruz, DH3122110.259.328.520
Chris Davis, 1B4110024.195.300.408
J.J. Hardy, SS3122111.281.320.392
Kelly Johnson, 3B3111103.212.293.355
   Ryan Flaherty, 3B0000000.202.265.330
Nick Hundley, C4113001.250.278.383
Jonathan Schoop, 2B4111020.222.255.380
Chris Tillman, P0000000.000.000.000
   Brad Brach, P0000000.000.000.000
   Tommy Hunter, P0000000.000.000.000
   Zach Britton, P0000000.000.000.000
Totals34912947    
Batting
2B - Chris Davis (16, Leake), Kelly Johnson (11, Leake)
HR - Nelson Cruz (37, Leake), Nick Hundley (6, Leake), Jonathan Schoop (15, Leake)
SH - Alejandro De Aza (3)
RBI - Nelson Cruz 2 (93), J.J. Hardy 2 (52), Kelly Johnson (24), Nick Hundley 3 (21), Jonathan Schoop (43)
2-OUT RBI - Nelson Cruz 2 (31), J.J. Hardy 2 (18), Kelly Johnson (12), Nick Hundley 3 (10)
CS - Kelly Johnson (2, 2nd base by Villarreal/Barnhart)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Adam Jones (6, Misplayed grounder)
Baltimore Orioles
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Tillman 6533261 3.40
Brad Brach 0.2344120 3.25
Tommy Hunter (W,3-2; BS,6) 1.1200000 3.42
Zach Britton (S,33) 1100000 1.84
WP - Brad Brach (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Tillman 108-65, Brad Brach 29-17, Tommy Hunter 20-13, Zach Britton 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Tillman 3-9, Tommy Hunter 3-1, Zach Britton 3-0
Batters Faced - Chris Tillman 25, Brad Brach 6, Tommy Hunter 6, Zach Britton 4
Game Information
Attendance - 21114
Game Time - 3:26
Temperature - 84
Umpires - Home - Sean Barber, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Mike Estabrook