|Date of game: 7/11/2014
Recap: Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh
Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Pinch-hitter Brayan Pena singled in Chris Heisey to cap a three-run eighth inning, lifting the injury-riddled Cincinnati Reds to a 6-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Devin Mesoraco belted a two-out solo homer to left off Tony Watson in the eighth. Ryan Ludwick and Chris Heisey singled before Ramon Santiago tied the game with his third hit of the night, an RBI base hit to center. Pena was nearly retired, but his foul ball on the right side went just past the tarp and caromed off the side wall. The next pitch from Watson (5-1) was lined into right-center field.
Reds starter Mat Latos departed after five innings due to lower back spasms. Latos surrendered three hits and four runs, three of which were earned.
"I was just standing on the mound and got in my ready position like I do waiting for the sign, and it felt like Cozart or Santiago came up and stabbed me in the lower back," Latos said. "It was real tight."
Aroldis Chapman set an all-time major league record with at least one strikeout in each of his last 40 appearances, surpassing the mark set by Bruce Sutter for the Chicago Cubs in 1977. Chapman struck out the side, breezing a 103 mph fastball by a swinging pinch-hitter Matt Hague to end the game. Chapman nailed down his 20th save and Cincinnati's sixth win in seven games.
Curtis Partch (1-0) walked the bases full in the eighth, but escaped the jam by fanning pinch-hitter Ike Davis and picked up his first big league victory.
Pedro Alvarez belted a three-run shot and Andrew McCutchen added a solo blast in the fourth inning for the Pirates, losers in four of their last five games.
Pirates starter Jeff Locke allowed nine hits and three runs -- one earned -- over 6 1/3 innings. The lefty fanned five without walking a batter.
In the second inning, Latos pulled up after running hard to first base following a bunt. He was checked on twice at the mound by manager Bryan Price and a trainer before leaving.
It's the second straight day a Reds starter has had to leave a game early. Homer Bailey departed in the fifth inning of Thursday's game against the Cubs with pain in the patellar tendon in his right knee.
Cincinnati's first run came due to the fancy footwork of Billy Hamilton. He bunted the first pitch from Locke to the right of the mound. First baseman Gaby Sanchez made the pick-up and tried to tag out Hamilton, but he stopped and contorted his body to somehow avoid the tag before diving to the base, just before Sanchez could reach it himself.
Locke's second pitch of the night was banged off the wall in left field by Zack Cozart, with the speedy Hamilton sliding home ahead of the tag.
In the bottom of the third, the Reds chose not to challenge a call when Hamilton was called out trying to steal second, even though replays showed his foot appeared to reach the base before Jordy Mercer applied the tag. Hamilton threw down his helmet in disgust in the dugout.
McCutchen homered to center with one out in the fourth. Walker then reached base on an error from Jay Bruce, starting at first base for only the third time in his career. Russell Martin walked ahead of Alvarez's 15th homer of the year, an estimated 419-foot blast to right.
McCutchen doubled in the sixth off Carlos Contreras and scored on Martin's lined single to center for a 5-1 Pittsburgh cushion.
Santiago doubled in a run in the seventh and scored on Hamilton's groundout later in the inning.Game Notes
The Reds put second baseman Brandon Phillips on the 15-day disabled list due
to a torn ligament in his left thumb. He will have surgery and be sidelined
for at least six weeks. In other moves on Friday, the Reds optioned catcher
Tucker Barnhart to Triple- A Louisville, while recalling Contreras and pitcher
Curtis Patch from Louisville ... Hamilton notched his 10th 3-hit game of the
year ... Mesoraco increased his career-high HR total to 16 ... The Reds are
8-3 this year against the Pirates.