Votto’s two hits including a two-run home run in the fifth inning helped the Reds defeat the Dodgers 3-2 on Friday night at Great American Ball Park.
The win, combined with the Pirates’ loss to the Cardinals, helped Cincinnati move to within two games of first-place Pittsburgh and remain 1 1/2 games back of second-place St. Louis.
The important thing, it marked the end of Votto’s slump hopefully. Entering Friday, he was hitless in his last 13 at-bats. He came into the series opener just 4-for-37 since Aug. 26 and batting .178 (16-for-90) since he put together an eight-game hit streak at the end of July and early August.
Following Votto’s 0-for-3 night on Thursday against the Cardinals, Baker asked him if he wanted a day off. Votto declined, insisting to him that he was about to get things right.
Votto reached base in all four of his plate appearances against the Dodgers, drawing a walk in the first inning and delivering a single before eventually coming around to score in the fourth.
However, his biggest hit of the game came with the Reds trailing, 2-1, in the fifth. Reds starter Mike Leake led off the inning with a walk, which was followed by a base hit by Shin-Soo Choo. Although Brandon Phillips hit into a double play in the next at-bat, Votto came through with a two-run opposite field to left home run to put them on top.
Although Votto was pleased to break out of his slump in a big way, he refused to make too much of his performance.
Leake was outstanding after the 1st inning going 7 2/3 inning pitched of two runs allowed, five hits, no walks and five strikeouts as he improves to (12-6) on the season with a 3.46 ERA.
After the Dodgers jumped out ahead in the first with a two-run homer from Hanley Ramirez, Leake retired 20 of the final 23 batters he faced, including 13 in a row at one point. He threw 98 pitches in 7 2/3 pitched.
Offensively for the Reds, all of their damage came against the Los Angeles bullpen, as starter Chris Capuano retired five of the first six batters he faced before exiting with two outs in the second with a mild left groin strain.
Stephen Fife of the Dodgers coming out of the bullpen gave up one run in the fourth, when Votto scored on a Ryan Ludwick double play, and was replaced by J.P. Howell in the fifth after the walk to Leake. Three batters later, Howell allowed the decisive home run to Votto.
After Leake was finally chased from the game by a two-out single in the eighth, Manny Parra threw one pitch to Carl Crawford, who grounded out to end the inning, before giving way to closer Aroldis Chapman.
Pitching for the fourth straight day for the first time in his career, Chapman struck out the heart of the order on 13 pitches for his 35th save of the season.
Today pitching match up is a great one aces on the mound as it will be Mat Latos and Zach Greinke. First pitch is at 1:05pm you catch the game on FOX as it is the game of the week.