Votto lifts Reds past Marlins in 11 innings
MIAMI — Dusty Baker was in mid-sentence, discussing the Cincinnati Reds’ second successive extra-inning victory, when he lost his train of thought and stammered to a halt.
“I can’t even think,” he said with a chuckle. “I’m so tired.”
So far the Reds’ season has been exhausting but exhilarating, with all five wins coming in their final at-bat. Joey Votto drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out single in the 11th inning Tuesday, and Cincinnati outlasted the Florida Marlins, 10-8.
The Reds won despite blowing a 6-1 lead. They beat the Marlins 6-5 in 10 innings in the series opener Monday.
“Winning games like this late hasn’t happened for us a whole lot since I’ve been on this team, man, so it’s definitely refreshing,” said pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who joined the Reds in 2006. “You look back five months from now, and those are huge wins that can really change the standings for us.”
As for the Marlins: “I don’t know about the team, but I have a couple of headaches,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Jonny Gomes and Ryan Hanigan hit three-run homers to aid the Reds’ latest victory. Brandon Phillips had four hits, including a single to drive in an insurance run in the 11th.
Hanigan singled to start the inning against Dan Meyer (0-1). He advanced on a sacrifice and Drew Stubbs walked. After left fielder Chris Coghlan robbed Orlando Cabrera with a lunging catch on the warning track, Votto’s soft liner on a 2-2 pitch just eluded a leaping Hanley Ramirez at shortstop.
The ball ticked off Ramirez’s glove. That’s how close the series has been.
“I just tried to put the ball in play,” Votto said. “I broke my bats. That’s the way the game works sometimes.”
Jorge Cantu of Florida singled home a run and became the first player since 1921 to have at least one hit and one RBI in the first eight games of a season.
“Wow,” Cantu said. “I didn’t know that. Wow. I’m speechless. What a great accomplishment.”
Cantu also mishandled a grounder at third base for an error that led to three unearned runs in the fourth inning. They scored when Hanigan hit his first homer of the year with two out.
“It just ate me. I misplayed it,” Cantu said.
The Marlins are last in the majors in fielding.
Micah Owings (2-0) struck out three in two scoreless innings. Francisco Cordero pitched a perfect 11th for his fourth save in four chances.
“Winning the close games, that’s big,” Owings said. “All the great teams, that’s what they do. We’re having a lot of fun right now.”
Gomes, who entered batting .125, hit his second homer of the season in the second inning and added an RBI single in the eighth. Phillips, who began the night batting .185, went 4 for 6 with two RBIs and scored twice. Votto had three of the Reds’ 13 hits.
Florida trailed 8-5 when Ramirez led off the eighth with a single. Ronny Paulino walked with two out, and Cody Ross followed with his first homer of the year. Daniel Ray Herrera struck out Cameron Maybin with the bases loaded to end the inning.
The Marlins’ Nate Robertson gave up six runs, three earned, in five innings. He allowed two home runs, and the Reds’ Jay Bruce lost a homer in the second inning on a replay review.
Arroyo allowed five runs in six innings.
Announced attendance was 10,681, but the actual crowd was about 2,500. Even so, there were plenty of cheers when Cantu extended his streak in the fifth inning.
The Marlins said that since the RBI became an official statistic in 1920, the only other player with such a streak was George Kelly of the New York Giants in 1921, based on research by the Elias Sports Bureau.
Including the end of last season, Cantu has both a hit and an RBI in 12 consecutive games, the longest such streak in the NL since Mike Piazza had a 15-game streak in 2000.
Gomes’ home run came after Phillips doubled and Scott Rolen walked. Bruce followed with a drive down the right-field line and was ruled a homer by first base umpire Larry Vanover, but a replay review determined the ball went foul.
NOTES: Coghlan went 0 for 5 and is in a 1-for-23 slump. … RHP Homer Bailey, scheduled to start Wednesday for the Reds, matched a career high with eight strikeouts in his only previous start against Florida. … Robertson came up with the second pickoff of his career when he got Votto in the first inning.