Bruce’s leaping catch saves Reds win over Arizona

Published 12:02 pm Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cincinnati Reds’ outfielder Drew Stubbs slammed his 18th home run of the season on Wednesday in a 7-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Associated Press

CINCINNATI — If Francisco Cordero had his way, Jay Bruce would get the save for Cincinnati’s win on Wednesday night.
Bruce hustled into the right field corner and made a leaping catch of Adam LaRoche’s bid for a game-tying home run to salvage Cordero’s save and help the Reds hold off the Arizona Diamondbacks, 7-5.
“That was an amazing play,” said Cordero, who blew two saves against Pittsburgh over the weekend. “That’s the kind of play you’re going to see over and over on ESPN and MLB. I gave him a big hug. He saved my life. He gets the save.”
Drew Stubbs homered and Cincinnati’s deep bullpen helped the Reds move one step closer to the NL Central title. The Reds opened an eight-game lead over St. Louis, which lost 7-3 at home to Chicago.
Orlando Cabrera had three doubles — giving him five in his last three games — and scored three runs and five relievers teamed up to pitch six innings of two-run relief in support of starter Homer Bailey, who left the game after three innings with dizziness.
Cordero drew boos after allowing singles to the first two batters in the ninth. He gave up a run on a groundout before Bruce, who entered the game in a double-switch in the seventh inning, made his stunning catch of LaRoche’s high, deep drive.
“I thought it was going to be one of those balls that go foul into the seats,” Bruce said. “I didn’t think it was going to go as far as it did. I’m not sure if it would have been a home run, but I knew it wouldn’t be good (if he didn’t catch it). I wanted to make sure to get to the wall. If you don’t get to the wall, you have no chance.”
Manager Dusty Baker felt differently.
“I didn’t think it was going to stay in,” he said. “I thought our only chance was it going foul.”
Arizona manager Kirk Gibson didn’t know which way LaRoche’s drive would go.
“Bruce made a nice catch,” Gibson said. “We were just wondering if it would be fair or foul.”
The Reds pounced on Arizona starter Joe Saunders for four runs — three unearned — in the first inning. Cabrera doubled with one out and scored on Jonny Gomes’s triple into the left field corner. Center fielder Chris Young was charged with an error after failing to catch Miguel Cairo’s fly ball, and Stubbs converted with his 18th homer of the season and second in three nights.
Cincinnati added a run in the second on Cabrera’s second double and Joey Votto’s RBI single up the middle. Gomes followed Cabrera’s eighth-inning double and Votto’s groundout with an RBI bloop single to right.
The Diamondbacks got back in the game with three runs in the third off Bailey. Two scored on Miguel Montero’s bases-loaded double and Brandon Allen drove in the third with a groundout.
Bailey gave up four hits with five walks and five strikeouts.
“I was just a little lightheaded,” he said. “I had a headache. I thought my cap might’ve been too tight. I was just a little off-balance. If you’re going to have one of those days, it’s a good day for (his team) to score five.”
Left-hander Bill Bray pitched a perfect fourth and fellow lefty Matt Maloney (1-2), called up from Triple-A Louisville on Sept. 3, retired the first seven batters he faced before giving up Kelly Johnson’s 21st homer with one out and nobody on in the seventh.
Nick Masset finished the seventh and Aroldis Chapman pitched a 1-2-3 eighth. The scoreboard pitch speed indicator wasn’t operating, but the television broadcast indicated two of his 18 pitches were over 100 mph.
The game was briefly delayed in the top of the third inning when a young man and woman draped a sign over the center field fence protesting Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law.
Saunders (8-16) shook off a rough first two innings to last 7 1-3. He gave up nine hits and seven runs — four earned — with one walk and four strikeouts while slipping to 1-6 over his last eight starts.
“I settled down,” Saunders said. “My changeup was working well. There were a lot of positives. I got some ground balls. The only bad pitch — and it wasn’t really that bad — I just went to the well once too often on Stubbs. It was a full-blown battle against a good club. I was battling for my life out there. There were balls that found some holes and came up a little short.”
Notes: OF Justin Upton was scratched from Arizona’s original starting lineup after reporting a flareup of the left shoulder irritation that had sidelined him for nine games from Aug. 31 through Sept. 10. … Utility player Willie Bloomquist, acquired by Cincinnati from last-place Kansas City on Monday, finally was in uniform Wednesday. “To pick up that many games overnight is exciting,” said Bloomquist, who started in right field and reached on an infield hit in his first at-bat. … Reds 3B Scott Rolen got the night off after a swing in his third at-bat on Tuesday left him with stiffness in his neck and upper back.

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