What do you do when your offense isn't producing?
If you are Reds' starting pitcher, Micah Owings, you take matters into your own hands.
At bat in the fifth with no outs and runners on the corners, he jacked a Vazquez tailing heater into the right-field stands to give the Reds a 4-2 lead.
Pitching against the team he grew up rooting for, Georgia born right-hander Owings came into the contest with zero losses and three wins in his only three games vs. Atlanta.
In the home half of the second, Jay Bruce gave the Reds' an early 1-0 lead when he pulled a hanging spinner to right for his 16th homer of the season.
Owings hit the hill in the top of the third and promptly walked the first batter he saw, Nate McLouth, then allowed a two-run bomb to Yunel Escobar. Once Escobar saw the ball barely clear the center-field wall, he strolled around the bases like a two-legged turtle in high heels.
That man is in dire need of a harsh lesson—preferably one that leaves a very black, baseball sized bruise.
In the bottom of the fifth, Jerry Hairston Jr. led off with a walk. Ryan Hannigan followed with a liner to right to set the table for the Owings home run.
Lucky that Owings hit it when he did, because Vazquez sat down the next 12 he faced in his complete game loss.
Reds' reliever, Nick Masset, took over for Owings in the top of the seventh. After retiring Vazquez to lead off the inning, he gave up a double into the right-field corner off the bat of McLouth.
After the double Masset not only forgot how to throw strikes, but he also forgot how to throw to a catcher's mitt. One walk and two wild pitches later, McLouth crossed the plate dwindling the Reds' lead to one run.
Reds' manager, Dusty Baker, wisely called on Arthur Rhodes—the lefty of the Reds' senior citizen setup duo. Rhodes got the final out of the seventh and the first two in the eighth.
The other ageless side of the setup tandem, righty David Weathers, popped up Jeff Francoeur to first baseman Ramon Hernandez, sending it to the ninth.
Escobar hit a lazy fly to right to end the game and Coco Cordero nailed down the victory for the Reds with his 16th save in 17 chances. Owings remains perfect against his old hometown heroes.
A win will do—but it sure would've been nice to see Coco give Escobar some 98 MPH cheese to the coccyx.
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