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Reds rap six extra base hits, even series with 4-2 win

Cincinnati also won with pitching and defense. Latos went seven strong while Bruce and Choo added some spectacular catches.

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Unlike last night, there were a number of Reds who played well tonight. Derrick Robinson had two doubles to bring his line up to .340/.426/.377 on the season. He also scored the go-ahead run. Joey Votto knocked two doubles, scored a run, and drove in another. Jay Bruce launched a ball to right field for a solo home run and had two impressive catches against the wall. His first great snag came in the top of the sixth when he robbed David Freese of extra bases. After a couple of shaky pitching performances, Mat Latos settled in to throw seven high quality innings, allowing only two runs on eight hits. He struck out five and walked none.

Each of those guys has a strong claim to the award, but I'm picking Devin Mesoraco tonight. The Reds' backup catcher went two for four with a solo home run, one run, and two RBI. His big fly tied the game, but Mesoraco's run-scoring single in the bottom of the sixth provided some needed insurance in a high leverage spot. Don't look now, but Mesoraco sports a .248/.325/.394 line (91 wRC+) so far this season. The average NL catcher is hitting .242/.309/.388 (91 wRC+). There's nothing that unsustainable about Mesoraco's performance either. He's walking pretty frequently, but his rate is nothing obscene, and he's always been a patient hitter. His isolated slugging is actually a tad lower than it was last season. Let's hope that Mesoraco is finally settling in after a rocky rookie campaign in 2012.

Key Plays
  • Yadier Molina led off the second inning with a double to right field. Molina advanced to third on David Freese's deep fly out to right and scored on a Jon Jay ground out. Cardinals led, 1-0.
  • Jay Bruce got a hold of a Tyler Lyons' fastball for the Beaumont Bomber's 10th homer of the year. The game was tied, 1-1.
  • Carlos Beltran doubled in the top of the third inning to put the pressure right back on Mat Latos. Matt Holliday grounded out, but Beltran was able to advance to third on the play. Allen Craig singled to drive home Beltran. Cardinals led, 2-1.
  • Devin Mesoraco deposited a fly ball in the first row of the moon deck to lead off the bottom of the fifth. The game was tied, 2-2.
  • Molina smoked one to deep right center to start the sixth, but Shin-Soo Choo covered a good deal of ground to make the catch. On the very next pitch, Freese drove a liner to the wall in right. However, Bruce reeled the ball in with a great leaping grab.
  • Derrick Robinson started the Reds' half of the sixth with his first major league double (and first extra base hit). Joey Votto doubled Robinson home. The Reds first baseman managed to make it to third on a throwing error by St. Louis' Pete Kozma. Brandon Phillips grounded out, but Bruce reached first on an odd 15-foot single in front of the plate. Todd Frazier worked a walk to load the bases for Cincinnati. With the infield drawn in, Mesoraco plated Votto with a ground ball single just out of Kozma's reach.

<iframe src="" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width = "450" style="border:1px solid black;"></iframe><br /><span style="font-size:9pt;">Source: <a href="">FanGraphs</a></span>

Other Notes
  • The Reds look to take the series with a win tomorrow on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. Bronson Arroyo takes the ball for Cincinnati while St. Louis will send out righty Lance Lynn. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 EDT.
  • If Tony Cingrani is available in your fantasy league(s), I'd recommend picking him up (again) now. His first start upon returning to the majors will be against a mediocre Chicago Cubs team.
  • There were marathon games in both New York and Toronto today. Three different relievers went six innings or more in these two games. The Mets' Shaun Marcum threw 105 pitches in relief, but picked up the loss.
  • Here's some blues for your Saturday night.
  • And some garage rock.
  • And finally, some country music, because why not?
  • Enjoy your Saturday night, Reds fans!