Votto’s 2 HRs help Reds split twinbill with Marlins

Published 1:57 am Thursday, August 25, 2011

MIAMI (AP) — Joey Votto is locked in. That is a scary thought for the rest of the league.

Votto homered in each game of a doubleheader, and Bronson Arroyo pitched eight scoreless innings in the nightcap, leading Cincinnati Reds to a 3-2 victory Wednesday night for a split of the twinbill.

Logan Morrison returned from his demotion to Triple-A New Orleans by homering in the Marlins’ 6-5 victory in the opener.

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Votto went 5 for 7 with four RBIs in the two games as he extended his hitting streak to 10 games. The reigning NL MVP has 24 homers this season.

“Nobody gets locked in like Joey Votto,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “When he gets locked in, it’s hard to fool him. He can hit you any part of the ballpark and he’s climbing up the batting race. It’s nice to see Joey get hot.”

Votto is hitting .500 (16 of 32) with six home runs and 13 RBIs during his hitting streak.

“I’ve felt very good lately,” Votto said. “I think the stuff I learned early in the season has started to actualize. I thought I’ve made a lot of improvements as a hitter and it’s starting to pay off.”

The doubleheader was scheduled to avoid potential inclement weather brought by Hurricane Irene, which was forecasted to hit South Florida Thursday.

“It’s very tough to win doubleheaders especially in their ballpark,” Baker said. “For years (the Marlins) have been tough here, real tough. I’m just happy to get a split, I’d be even happier if we had gotten the sweep.”

Arroyo (8-10) beat the Marlins for the first time in his career, but he had to wait out an eventful ending to earn it.

“I’ve had a lot of leads down here,” Arroyo said. “It was definitely nice to kind of put the nail in the coffin especially because they had a chance there to tie it. To get out of here with a win was nice.”

Francisco Cordero relieved Arroyo in the ninth and allowed back-to-back run-scoring hits by Greg Dobbs and Gaby Sanchez. He got Bryan Petersen to fly out and Jose Lopez to ground out to end the game earning his 28th save in 33 opportunities.

After the Marlins scored six runs in the first game, including three in the pivotal eighth to lift them to a win, they were held in check for most of the second game.

“(Arroyo) changed speeds, he threw that soft stuff up there,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “I don’t think he topped 87 on his fastball. The secret is location and he had good location on his pitches and he was successful.”

Florida’s Chris Volstad (5-11) lost his third consecutive decision since being recalled from Triple-A New Orleans. He allowed three runs in six innings.

Morrison played both games of the doubleheader for the Marlins after an 11-day demotion to the minors. He homered in the first game.

“It means a lot,” said Morrison on making an immediate impact. “It doesn’t matter what jersey I have on, I just want to contribute. I’m happy.”

Morrison’s 18th homer put the Marlins on the scoreboard in the opener.

“It was a different ballclub with Lo-Mo in there,” McKeon said. “He’s a threat, he did a great job. He played hard. It was a different attitude. The whole energy level was different.”

In the opener, the Marlins scored three runs in the eighth to break a 3-all tie. Emilio Bonifacio tripled off reliever Jose Arrendondo (3-4) before Omar Infante drove him in. Dobbs followed and hit a two-run double to give the Marlins a 6-3 lead.

They needed the extra runs after Todd Frazier hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Edward Mujica. Steve Cishek relieved Mujica to get two outs to record his second save.

Bonifacio’s triple over the head of center fielder Drew Stubbs with one out in the eighth keyed the pivotal inning.

“It was hit harder than he thought,” Baker said. “The wind was wrecking havoc out there, too. Usually Stubby catches that ball.”

Ryan Webb (2-4) struck out the only batter he faced.

Javier Vazquez fanned 11 in seven innings for the Marlins. He allowed three runs and six hits.

McKeon was ejected in the third inning for arguing balls and strikes with first base umpire Todd Tichenor during an at-bat with Homer Bailey.

Reds starter Homer Bailey allowed three runs in seven innings. He struck out four and picked up two hits at the plate.

“As the game went on I felt I kept getting a little bit better and I wanted to go out there for the eighth, but (Baker) wouldn’t let me,” Bailey said.

NOTES: Marlins RF Mike Stanton made an impressive catch in the ninth inning of the nightcap as he caught a foul ball just before tumbling over the short bullpen wall. … Marlins closer Leo Nunez was given the day off after blowing a save on Tuesday. … Vazquez struck out 10 or more batters for the 43rd time in his career and the third time this season. The 11 strikeouts were the most since he struck out 12 on June 11, 2009 against Pittsburgh. … Votto leads the NL in road batting average hitting .355 (86 for 242). … Reds 2B Brandon Phillips is hitting .429 (15 of 35) in eight games after being moved to the leadoff spot. … The two teams are off Thursday and return to action Friday with the Reds sending LHP Dontrelle Willis to the mound against the Nationals as he looks for his first win in a Reds uniform. The Marlins will send RHP Clay Hensley to the mound at Philadelphia for his eighth start after coming out of the bullpen for his first 20 appearances. He’s 1-0 with a 3.78 ERA in three starts against the Phillies.