In Wednesday’s series finale with the San Francisco Giants, the Reds looked like they were going to beat them as if they stole something.
Joey Votto, Jonny Gomes, and Ryan Hanigan all homered to stake Homer Bailey to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. It looked like payback time for the boys from the Queen City.
Votto hit another homer in the third inning, his 31st of the season, to cap a four-run inning and the Reds were on top 8-1.
Adding one run in the fourth and another in the fifth gave the Reds what looked like a victory, with a 10-1 lead.
The Giants put up two in the fifth and chased Bailey in the sixth. He left the game leading 10-3 and handed the keys to Bill Bray with two on and one out. Bray allowed both to score, and suddenly it was a 10-5 game at the end of the sixth.
San Francisco jumped all over Logan Ondrusek in the bottom of the eighth. After he pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning, he gave up singles to Jose Guillen and Pablo “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval. Juan Uribe continued his hot hitting against the Reds with a three-run shot to left, making it a 10-8 game with nobody out.
Dusty Baker then made a triple switch. He brought in Arthur Rhodes to replace Ondrusek and brought in Jay Bruce to play right, moving Chris Heisey to left and sending Gomes to the bench.
In a performance that was probably due, Rhodes gave up what looked like the winning run, allowing three runs in one inning of work.
The Reds then scored a run in the top of the ninth to keep the game alive. Nick Masset shut the Giants down in the ninth to force the game into extra innings.
In the top of the 10th the Reds squelched a tremendous opportunity to score a run. With two outs, Scott Rolen doubled high off the left field wall and headed to second base. Cody Ross (why did we ever trade him?) played it off the wall like he worked there all year, and threw a strike to second.
Rolen attempted the worst slide I’ve seen in probably five years, looking like a deer caught in the headlights. He was out by several feet, so kudos to Ross on a beautiful defensive play.
Laynce Nix pinch-hit for Masset in the top of the 11th. He hit a slow roller to second base and pulled up lame after about three steps toward first. Don’t look for him for at least two weeks, as he could barely walk after the re-injury.
My boy (Okay, I have mellowed on him a little) Coco Cordero pitched the last two innings to notch the well-deserved win, since Votto had singled Miguel Cairo in with the game winner in the 12th.
Votto had four hits, Paul Janish had three, and Gomes and Rolen both had two, as the Reds pounded out 16 of them. Sadly, they were out-hit by the Giants 18-16.
In the three-game set, the Giants scored 39 runs and collected 55 hits against the worn-out Reds pitching staff.