Joey Votto Gets 4 Hits as Cincinnati Reds' Bats Come Alive

Cliff EasthamSenior Writer IIApril 12, 2012

Joey Votto
Joey VottoAndy Lyons/Getty Images

First baseman Joey Votto went 4-5 and Wilson Valdez added three hits as the Cincinnati Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 in walk-off fashion on Wednesday. Pinch-hitter Chris Heisey singled in the winning run with one out in the ninth inning.

This marked the second time in six games that the Reds have had walk-off wins.

In near freezing temperatures at Great American Ball Park, the Reds jumped on Jaime Garcia for 11 hits and chased the southpaw in the fifth inning.

Votto who got out of the gate slowly thus far, scorched two doubles and two singles to raise his average to .333. In the first four games he had stuck out six times in 13 at-bats.

Valdez, filling in for the injured Brandon Phillips, hit three singles in four at-bats with an RBI as he and Votto collected half of the Reds’ 14 hits.

Drew Stubbs and rookie Zach Cozart both added two hits as the Reds leveled their record to 3-3.

The hit explosion was a welcome sight as the Reds had managed only two runs and seven hits in the first two games of the series. It pulled the team average up to .201 which places them 11th out of 16 NL squads. They are averaging a mere 2.5 runs per game which puts entirely too much pressure on the starting pitchers.

Cozart continued his hot hitting as his .455 average puts him behind only Carlos Ruiz‘ .462 in the NL. He has hit safely in all six of the Reds’ games and has at least two hits in half of them.

Stubbs has shown more plate discipline as his strikeout rate is down to around 25 percent.

Wilson Valdez had a three-hit game
Wilson Valdez had a three-hit gameRich Pilling/Getty Images

Jay Bruce has brought his average up to .304 and is still leading the league with three home runs.

Heisey has demonstrated once again why he is the premier pinch-hitter in the league. He is now 2-2 with two RBI when coming off the bench. By contrast, he is batting just .091 when starting in the outfield.

The team will begin a four-game set against the NL East leading, Washington Nationals (4-2) on Thursday. Mat Latos (0-1) will be looking to atone for his bad performance in his debut with the Reds. He will face southpaw Gio Gonzalez (0-0) in the series opener.

The Nats will be hosting the season home opener as Gonzalez will be looking to make amends for his first outing as well.