The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Todd Frazier came to the bat in the bottom of the sixth inning with two runners on base and his team trailing by two runs. Frazier decided he didn’t like the way things looked and figured why not change the game. So he launched his 18th home run of the year to center field to give the Reds a lead at the time. Have fun in the Home Run Derby, Todd.
Mike Leake got himself into trouble early. After recording a quick out in the top of the first, Travis Snider reached on an infield single, Andrew McCutchen was hit by a pitch, and Neil Walker drew a walk. Snider then scored on a Russell Martin sacrifice fly that almost resulted in a double play thanks to a strong throw by Billy Hamilton. Despite then walking Pedro Alvares, Leake escaped the inning with no further damage. Pirates lead 1-0.
McCutchen the led off the third inning with a double, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on Martin’s second sacrifice fly of the game. Pirates lead 2-0.
In the fourth inning, Gaby Sanchez and Jordy Mercer both singled to start the inning, and then advanced on a Charlie Morton bunt. Then Sanchez scored on a Leake throwing error, and Mercer scored on a Gregory Polanco single. Pirates lead 4-0.
The inning wasn’t quite over yet, though, as Snider singled to center to advance Sanchez to third with one out. But Leake pulled himself together to strike out McCutchen and induce a ground out from Walker. Pirates still lead 4-0 in the middle of the third.
The Reds finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning. Zack Cozart opened the inning by drawing a four pitch walk, and pinch hitter (of course) Chris Heisey followed that up with his third home run of the season to cut the lead in half. Pirates 4, Reds 2.
But that inning wasn’t over yet either. Billy Hamilton singled and then stole an obligatory base. The ever-dangerous Ramon Santiago drew a walk, and then Fraier launched a home run to center field to put the Reds on top 5-4.
- There was no more scoring until the top of the ninth inning, when McCutchen homered off Jonathan Broxton to tie the game.
- In the bottom of the the tenth inning, Santiago and Frazier drew back to back walks off of Ernesto Frieri. Clint Hurdle replaced Frieri with Justin Wilson to face Bruce, who singled, but Satniago was thrown out at the plate. The Pirates then elected to walk Devin Mesoraco to load the bases with one out in the bottom of the tenth inning. This turned out to be a good move, as Ryan Ludwick and Brayan Pena both struck out to end the inning.
- In the top of the eleventh inning, McCutchen homered yet again, giving the Pirates a 6-5 lead.
Leake gave up four runs in six innings, but it wasn’t as bad as it might look in the box score. He was, as they say, BABIP’d to death. He didn’t give up many hard-hit balls and suffered from a certain amount of bad luck. He wasn’t at his sharpest, to be sure, but he wasn’t as bad as you might think.
Tomorrow afternoon Johnny Cueto takes the hill against fresh-off-the-DL Francisco Liriano in a 2013 Wild Card rematch. Should be a good rubber match to the series.
- The Reds haven't lost in regulation since July 5 against Milwaukee.
The top of the National League is kind of a mess right now. Seven teams – the Reds, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Francisco Giants, the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals – are all basically right on top of each other in the standings. Should be a fun second half of the season in the senior circuit.
- Tune: Michael Bolton, we’re really gonna need you to focus up