Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reds edge out Pirates in a marathon affair

The Reds looked to put their poor weekend showing against Houston behind them when they played host to the Pirates on Monday. Well, it may have come harder and may have taken longer than expected, but Cincy (85-57) did just that by edging out Pittsburgh (72-68), 4-3, in a 14-inning affair that lasted nearly five and a half hours to complete.

Andrew McCutchen kicked off the scoring in the top of the fourth when he blasted a solo homer to left -- his 26th of the year. The Buccos would scratch two more across in the inning before starter Mat Latos could retire the side, thus making it 3-0 in favor of the visitors.

Cincinnati got on the board in the bottom half of the inning when Chris Heisey connected for a solo homer of his own. The score would remain 3-1 until Dioner Navarro plated a pair with a double in the seventh.

Neither side would score again until the bottom of the 14th when Ryan Ludwick's infield singled plated the winning run in the personnel of Devin Mesoraco.

Here's a recap of all the action from the Reds' vantage point:

The Good:
+ Latos turned in a good effort (6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 5 K) despite receiving a no-decision. The big, right-hander ran into trouble in the fourth when he allowed all three of his runs, but was able to keep his team in the ball game.
+ Jose Arredondo (1 IP), Sean Marshall (0.2 IP), and Jonathan Broxton (1.1 IP) each did their job out of the 'pen. None of the three allowed a run in their brief appearances.
+ Heisey's longball was No. 7 on the year for him.
+ Navarro continues to be a good contributor for this club. His 2-run double raised his RBI total to seven since being promoted from Triple-A Louisville.
+ Sam LeCure wiggled out of a bases loaded jam in the tenth by inducing a groundball to end the inning. Clutch. He struckout the side in the eleventh as well.
+ J.J. Hoover tossed two scoreless frames in relief.
+ Alfredo Simon improved to 3-2 in spite of a shaky relief outing in the top of the 14th. The right-hander allowed two hits and a walk, but managed to escape without allowing any runs.

The Bad:
+ Cincy mustered just four hits through the first nine innings.
+ Wilson Valdez is hitting .191 after going 0-2 in this one. His OBP isn't much better at .215. Geez.
+ Aroldis Chapman did his absolute best in trying to give up the lead in extras. He walked the bases loaded before giving way to LeCure. He's been showing signs of fatigue in recent outings.
+ Reds pinch-hitters failed to collect a hit in five tries (0-4, BB).
+ Brandon Phillips was hitless in five plate appearances. He did however, have a sacrifice and stole his 13th bag of the year.

The Notables:
+ Cincinnati's division lead now stands at 9.5 after San Diego whooped up on St. Louis (11-3).
+ Latos remains undefeated in six career starts vs PIT.
+ Jay Bruce was named National League Co-Player of the Week along with Miami's Ricky Nolasco on Monday.
+ Major League Baseball will release the 2013 schedule for each of its 30 teams on Wednesday.
+ Mike Leake (7-9, 4.73) gets the ball on Tuesday in game two of the series and will oppose Pittsburgh's Kevin Correia (10-8, 3.71). First pitch is slated for 7:10et.

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