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Joey Votto homers twice, Reds rally past Pirates in 9-5 win

What once looked ugly turned beautiful

Pittsburgh Pirates v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Joey Votto homered late in Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, doing so after getting most of the afternoon off. Roll that into his outing on Monday and, well, it’s apparent there’s still ample bang in the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame 1B.

Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game Votto blasted another pair of dingers in Monday night’s series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates, helping the Reds dig out of an early 5-0 deficit to scratch out a 9-5 win over their division rival.

I’d call it a ‘must-needed’ win, but since the St. Louis Cardinals just won their 9th in a row and are 4 games ahead of the Reds in the loss column, I’m not sure just how relevant that even is anymore. I digress.

It was Vlad Gutierrez who was bitten by the Pirates for those 5 ER, all of which came early in an outing he’d surely like to forget. His swing and miss stuff was completely nonexistent, but big props are due to the likes of Luis Cessa, Lucas Sims, Michael Lorenzen, and Mychal Givens for picking up the pieces and putting up enough zeroes for the Reds’ bats to get them back into it.

Eugenio Suarez added a solo homer to the ledger, as did Kyle Farmer. Nick Castellanos belted another double - this one of the 2-run variety - and later added another ribbie single as the heart of the order came through big time on the evening. And hell, this was in a game in which Pittsburgh rolled out a LHP on the mound to start!

In all, it was a rather heartening performance from the Reds, who have lost 8 straight series in part to their poor performances in series openers. They’ll attempt to run it back tomorrow at 6:40 PM ET, assuming rain doesn’t set that one back the way it did tonight.

Jam on, Reds.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs