A rubber match game agains the Pirates is exactly what the Cincinnati Reds needed. After an incredible comeback win Friday and
a disappointing loss Saturday night Cincinnati needed to rebound. And rebound they did, scoring early and often on their way to an 11-3 win at PNC Park.
Pirates starter Jeff Locke (10-7) got rocked early only last 1 inning while giving up 5 earned runs in the process. Chris Heisey, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce loaded the bases for Jay Bruce who double to center scoring all three men on base. An early 3-0 lead allowed Todd Frazier to come to the plate and swing away, he did just that knocking a home run into left center scoring Jay Bruce for a 5-0 lead.
After the first Jeff Locke was pulled and replaced with Jeanmar Gomez who provided about the same lackluster performance Locke did allowing two runs in his one inning pitched. The top of the Reds order jumped on Gomez like they did Locke. Heisey doubled scoring the quick Billy Hamilton while Brandon Phillips hit a sac fly to score Heisey for a 7-0 Reds lead.
From there the Reds placed the game in the hands of veteran Bronson Arroyo (14-11) who was feeling under the weather Sunday. Arroyo though would prevail going 5 innings allowing only 5 hits and 3 earned runs while striking out 3. Arroyo would hand the ball off to the bullpen who dominated Sunday. A combination of Alfredo Simon, Manny Parra and Logan Ondrusek did not allow a hit over the final 4 innings.
Cincinnati would tack on four more runs in the 8th an 9th hits by Chris Heisey, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce once again drove in runs in the 8th while Derrick Robinson got in on the action in the 9th scoring Zach Cozart.
Rookie Billy Hamilton started in center Sunday. Coming up to the majors everyone questioned Hamilton’s ability to hit. His .256 batting average in Triple A Louiville is respectable but not stellar. In his 14 at bat’s this season for the Reds Hamilton has 6 hits for a .429 average while scoring 9 runs. You can’t base a future career off 14 AB but it is nice to see the young speedster silencing critics early.
As a whole the Reds offense has been performing fairly well of late. Jay Bruce and his 4 RBI game Sunday now has him at 107RBI for the season leading the team over Brandon Phillips’s 102 RBI. Joey Votto has been hitting as expected, even Chris Heisey has got in on the action. The team just needs to keep this up the next 6 games and into the postseason.
The Reds return home to GABP Monday night for a three game set against the Mets before the Pirates come to town for the final series of the season this weekend.
Johnny Cueto (5-2) takes the mound tonight against former Red Aaron Harang at 7:10.