The reigning NL Central champions raced to a 5-2 start, averaging 7.3 runs, and promptly dropped five in a row. Cincinnati (10-8) has since regrouped to win five of six, this time on the strength of strong pitching as it has posted a 1.40 ERA with 58 strikeouts in 58 innings.
Manager Dusty Baker 's bullpen provided five shutout innings in Saturday's 3-2, 13-inning victory, helping the Reds overcome stranding 17 runners and going 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position. Baker credited starter Bronson Arroyo for giving his relievers a chance to be effective after throwing eight innings."Bronson pitched a heck of a game," said Baker, whose pitchers have allowed two runs or fewer in six consecutive games, the longest stretch since a six-game streak from July 10 through July 19, 2010. "He kept some pretty good hitters off balance."
Homer Bailey (1-1, 3.32 ERA) has contributed a solid outing as well during this run, scattering two singles around a season-high 10 strikeouts in 89 pitches over eight innings Tuesday against Philadelphia. The right-hander, though, had nothing to show for it as the game was suspended in the middle of the ninth tied at zero and eventually won by the Reds the following night.
"When you're on the same page as your catcher, I can kind of sit back and almost go into cruise control, where all I have to think about is executing pitches," Bailey told the Reds' official website. "Being able to go out there and just execute pitches if that's your only mindset makes something very hard a little bit easier. Trying to make pitches is extremely hard."
Bailey, who did not face the Marlins last year, is 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in four lifetime starts against them.
Marlins counterpart Alex Sanabia (2-1, 4.24) has a similar track record to Bailey in the early part of the season with two strong starts around a terrible one. The right-hander limited Washington to two runs and six hits in six innings of an 8-2 victory on Tuesday and has half of Miami's four wins.
Sanabia has essentially had one bad inning thus far, yielding six of his eight runs in an 8-0 loss to Atlanta on April 10. He has struggled getting the first out of the inning, allowing leadoff hitters to go 8 for 17 thus far.
The Marlins (4-14) have been held to three or fewer runs in 15 of 18 games, partly due to the on-going struggles of slugger Giancarlo Stanton . He had an infield single in six at-bats Saturday, raising his average by a point to .163, and has no RBIs and 17 strikeouts in 12 games."He is an unbelievable player. He is going to hit," manager Mike Redmond said. "He's our big bat. He's just in a funk and we've got to get him out of it."
Stanton, who has gone eight games without an extra-base hit, is 1 for 5 lifetime versus Bailey.
|April 17, 2013||Adeiny Hechavarria||15-Day DL||Bruised left elbow|
|April 13, 2013||Justin Ruggiano||Day-to-Day||Groin|
|April 12, 2013||Giancarlo Stanton||Day-to-Day||Left shoulder soreness|
|April 04, 2013||Casey Kotchman||Day-to-Day||Strained left hamstring|
|April 04, 2013||Casey Kotchman||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|March 31, 2013||Alfredo Silverio||60-Day DL||Sprained right elbow|
|April 20, 2013||Zack Cozart||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised right hand|
|April 14, 2013||Johnny Cueto||15-Day DL||Strained right lat|
|April 13, 2013||Johnny Cueto||Day-to-Day||Right triceps injury|
|April 08, 2013||Sean Marshall||15-Day DL||Left shoulder tendinitis|
|April 02, 2013||Ryan Ludwick||Day-to-Day||Torn cartilage in right shoulder|
|April 02, 2013||Ryan Ludwick||60-Day DL||Torn cartilage in right shoulder|
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Among the few people not concerned with Joey Votto 's home-run drought were the first baseman his Cincinnati Reds teammates.
Votto seems to be getting hot and shaking off his power outage. He homered and got three hits for the second straight day, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Miami Marlins 10-6 Sunday for their sixth win in seven games.
Votto missed 48 games last season with a knee injury, and his April 14 homer against Pittsburgh was his first since June 24. He's homered in back-to-back games for the first time since Sept. 10-11, 2011, at Colorado.
"Before I got hurt, I had 14 home runs," Votto said. "If I'm not hitting home runs, I can help win games in other ways. I don't feel obligated to hit home runs to quell people's concerns. Is quell the right word?"
Votto is 7 for 11 in his last two games, raising his batting average to .328 and his NL-leading on-base percentage to .522, just teammate Shin-Soo Choo's .523. The 2010 NL MVP, Votto reached 24 homers in four of his previous five full seasons. "
Manager Dusty Baker said he had faith Votto's power would return.
"I told you he was going to hit," Baker said. "Everybody was more worried than we were. Water seeks its own level. If you can hit, you'll hit. You don't just stop hitting."
Brandon Phillips drove in the go-ahead run for the second straight day and Todd Frazier hit a three-run double in an eight-run seventh inning for the Reds, who won three of four from the Marlins and improved to a major league-best 10-3 at home.
After trading most of their best players in an offseason payroll purge, the Marlins have the worst record in the big leagues at 4-15 - the poorest 19-game start in team history.
With the score 2-2, Choo drew Cincinnati's fifth walk off Alex Sanabia (2-2), who also hit Choo with a pair of pitches. Singles by Xavier Paul and Votto loaded the bases, and Phillips had an RBI single against Jon Rauch . Paul scored when right fielder Giancarlo Stanton bobbled the ball for an error.
Phillips had a game-ending sacrifice fly in the 13th inning of Saturday's 3-2 win.
Devin Mesoraco added an RBI single, Frazier hit a bases-loaded double off the right-field wall for an 8-2 lead, Choo followed with an RBI double and Paul greeted Tom Koehler with a run-scoring, ground-rule double that bounced into the right field stands and back onto the field.
Logan Ondrusek (1-0) struck out the side in the seventh to win in relief of Homer Bailey , who allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings with eight strikeouts and three walks.
Sanabia (2-2) gave up five runs and five hits in six innings. Marlins manager Mike Redmond 's bullpen options were limited after using six relievers Saturday.
"Sanabia knew the situation," Redmond said. "Yesterday's game took a lot out of our pitching staff. I thought he pitched a great game. If we had the lead, we would have probably pitched it differently. Rauch was our only fresh arm. We had to bring him into a tough situation."
Miguel Olivo , who spent most of spring training as a non-roster player with the Reds before signing with Miami, hit a pinch three-run homer off Manny Parra in a four-run ninth.
Votto didn't need to wait long to flash his rediscovered power, homering in the first inning on the first pitch he saw in the game.
"He's such a good hitter," Frazier said. "That's the kind of stuff we talk about - trying to get your energy back and your swing going."
Chris Valaika 's had a tying single in the second. The Reds went back ahead in the fifth when Bailey beat out an infield hit on a dribbler up the third-base line and scored from second when Votto singled and center fielder
Justin Ruggiano overran the ball for an error. Valaika had another tying single in the sixth.
NOTES: The Marlins started 5-14 in 1995, 1998 and 1999, according to STATS. ... The Reds placed C Ryan Hanigan on the 15-day DL with a strained left side. Hanigan, also dealing with a bruised left thumb, injured his oblique reaching for a high fastball thrown by Aroldis Chapman on Friday night. The contract of C Corky Miller was selected from Triple-A Louisville, and RHP Nick Masset was moved to 60-day disabled list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. ... Choo has been hit nine times, tying the Reds record for a month set by Mike Donlin in May 1903, according to Elias Sports Bureau and reported by the Reds. Shoo has reached base 11 times in 12 plate appearances over the last two games. ... Stanton finished the series 4 for 18 with eight strikeouts and is hitting .188.