Friday, October 11, 2013

On this day in Reds history: Cincinnati upends Pittsburgh for pennant

October 11th, 1972 - The Reds lay claim to the National League pennant with a dramatic 4-3 victory over Pittsburgh before 41,887 ecstatic fans at Riverfront Stadium. Cincinnati trailed 3-2 heading to the bottom of the ninth before Johnny Bench led off the inning with a solo homer over the right field wall to tie the game.

Tony Perez and Denis Menke followed that up with back-to-back singles. Perez was pinch-ran for by George Foster after a pitching change, who advanced to third base after a fly ball hit to deep right by Cesar Geronimo. Pirates reliever Bob Moose then uncorked a wild pitch to pinch-hitter Hal McRae, allowing Foster to cross the plate as the game's winning run. The Reds comeback from being down 2-1 in the series to win 3-2.

Unfortunately, Sparky Anderson and the Redlegs would go on to fall to the underdog Oakland A's in the World Series in seven games. However, the Big Red Machine wouldn't be denied a world title for long, as the team eventually went on to capture back-to-back world championships in 1975 and '76.

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