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Joey Votto hits walkoff dinger to lead Reds past Cardinals in Mike Leake's return to Cincinnati

The Joey of old is back.

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Joey Votto sported high socks for the first time all season last week, and the Cincinnati Reds slugger finally started to look like the battleship he's always been in the middle of the lineup.

On Tuesday, however, Votto eschewed the tall socks, smacked a 9th inning walkoff dinger, and showed us all that mere superstition wasn't behind his resurgence at the plate after a dastardly April.  Votto added a double and a steal, too, helping lead the Reds to a win over his former teammate and current St. Louis Cardinals starter Mike Leake.

Welcome back to the land of head-bashing, Joey.  Have another trophy for your case.

Honorable Mentions are due to:  Billy Hamilton, who went 3 for 3 with a dinger and a pair of steals; John Lamb, who allowed just a lone earned run in his 7.1 IP, with 4 H, 2 BB, and 5 K to his credit in a rock-solid outing; Adam Duvall, who smoked yet another dinger as part of a 2 for 4 evening; Ramon Cabrera, who chipped in with a double and a sac-fly.

Key Plays

  • The filthy Cards got on the board first in this one, plating a run against Lamb in the Top of the 4th.  Stephen Piscotty drew a 1-out walk - which haunted - and he then moved to 3B when Jhonny Peralta dhoubled to CF.  Matt Adams then poked a single into LF to score Piscotty before Yadier Molina toileted into an inning-ending double play to end the threat.  Reds trailed, 1-0.
  • No matter, though, as the Reds promptly struck back against Mike Leake in the Bottom of the 4th.  Brandon Phillips led off with a single, and he motored to 3B when Jay Bruce followed with one of his own.  That setup a matchup of Duvall vs. Leake, players that were traded for each other just last summer, and Duvall proceeded to destroy a Leake meatball into the LF stands for a 425 foot 3-run dinger.  Eugenio Suarez then doubled to LF, and he later scored after some small-ball from Hamilton (sac bunt) and Ramon Cabrera (sac fly).  Reds led, 4-1.
  • Leake's former team finally chased him in the Bottom of the 7th.  Hamilton launched a solo dinger into the stands in RF to lead off the inning, and Cabrera backed that with a double to RF.  Zack Cozart then singled to score Cabrera two batters later, and that sent Leake to the showers saddled with a 6 ER return to Great American Ball Park.  Reds led, 6-1.
  • Lamb cruised into the Top of the 8th with a decently heavy pitch-count, but also with seven seriously successful innings under his belt.  Then, he walked Randal Grichuk to lead off the inning, and back to back errors by Phillips coupled with having thrown 112 pitches ended his night with 1-out and runners on the corners.  Blake Wood was summoned to the mound, and things promptly got interesting.  A sac-fly immediately plated the run from 3B, and back to back singles then loaded the bases.  Peralta then dhoubled again, this time to the corner in LF, and that scored a pair of runs and left the lead run at the plate.  Price turned to Tony Cingrani, however, and he mercifully got Adams to pop out to end the inning.  Reds led, 6-4.
  • Oh god, the bullpen.  Cingrani pitched the Top of the 9th, the Cards scored twice to tie things up, and only a replay overturn of Matt Carpenter being called safe at 3B helped end the threat of blowing this one completely.  Game tied, 6-6.
  • No matter, though, since Joey Votto is back.  Officially back.  High socks, low socks, no socks...back.  Votto mauled a Kevin Siegrist meatball in the Bottom of the 9th over the wall in left-center for the walk-off victory, and it was precisely the kind of beautiful thing we've been waiting for all year.  Reds won, 7-6!

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • This bullpen, man.
  • Prior to the start of this one, Steve Selsky was again promoted to the big leagues, with Jon Moscot being optioned to AAA Louisville in a corresponding move.  Given Moscot's struggles since returning from the DL due to his non-throwing shoulder issues, it wasn't a terribly surprising move.
  • Moscot's absence leaves a void in the starting rotation, of course, though's Mark Sheldon seems certain that will be filled by the return of Anthony DeSclafani on Friday.  Bryan Price later confirmed as much to Sheldon, which is seemingly the first bit of positive injury-related news the Reds have received in god knows how long.
  • Alfredo Simon will start yet again for the Reds on Wednesday, and it will be both hard to watch and hard to root for.  He'll be opposed by Jaime Garcia, with first pitch at GABP set for 7:10 PM ET.
  • Tunes.