Votto’s 2 HRs help rally Reds past Pirates, 9-5

Published 2:54 am Tuesday, September 21, 2021

CINCINNATI (AP) — Joey Votto tied the game with his second homer of the night, Eugenio Suarez followed with a go-ahead shot and the Cincinnati Reds rallied from a five-run deficit for a 9-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday.
Votto tied the game 5-5 against Cody Ponce (0-5) in the fifth with his third homer in his last three at-bats spanning two games before Suarez homered off the top of the left-center field wall.
“I never feel safe in this ballpark,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “With this lineup and their ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark, no lead is safe. They can score a lot of runs quickly.”
Cincinnati’s first baseman lined a pinch-hit homer in the ninth inning Sunday and walked in his first plate appearance on Monday. He also turned in two diving backhand stops of sharp grounders down the line.
Nick Castellanos drove in three runs with three hits and Kyle Farmer also went deep as the Reds overcame back-to-back homers by Yoshi Tsutsogo and Bryan Reynolds but couldn’t gain on St. Louis in the NL wild card race.
The second-place Cardinals beat Milwaukee 5-2 to maintain a three-game lead over third-place Cincinnati.
“Comebacks are going to be necessary, not only with our record but in ballgames,” Votto said. “We are going to do it together. We have to take of business. Right now, we’re not where we’d like to be’l
Luis Cessa (5-2) had three strikeouts in 1 2-3 innings to get the win. Lucas Sims, Michael Lorenzen and Mychal Givens combined for four more shutout innings.
Castellanos started the comeback in the third with a ringing, two-run double to center field that missed going out by about a foot. Votto, who hit at least one home run in a franchise-record seven consecutive games in late July, followed with a liner over the right field wall to almost exactly the same spot where he blasted his Sunday shot.
“It looks like Joey’s back,” manager David Bell said. “Being around Joey the last day or so, he looks energized. Everybody goes through a little fatigue. He had some good plays in the field, too.”
Neither starter lasted four innings. Vladimir Gutierrez, who allowed five hits and four runs in just 3 2-3 innings at Pittsburgh last Wednesday, had an even rougher start on Monday. The Pirates had six hits and five runs two outs into the third inning against the NL’s rookie wins leader. Gutierrez (9-7) allowed seven hits and five runs with one walk and three strikeouts in 3 1-3 innings.
Dillon Peters left after giving up four hits and four runs, all in the third inning. Peters, who pitched five shutout innings while beating the Reds on September 14, walked two and struck out three.
“That’s a pretty powerful lineup right there,” Peters said. “You’re going to run into trouble if you’re not able to finish pitches, and that’s what I wasn’t able to do in that inning. I wasn’t able to follow through on pitches. I left some balls up in the middle of the plate, and they punished me for it.”
The Pirates hit back-to-back home runs for the sixth time this season and second time this month. The Reds went back-to-back for the seventh time.
Rain delayed the start of the game for 1 hour, 25 minutes.
Cincinnati’s Jonathan India was hit by a pitch for the team-high 21st time this season. Shin-Soo Choo set the single-season club record for being hit by pitches with 26 in 2013. India, hit on his left hand, stayed in the game after a brief visit from a trainer halfway up the first base line.
Pirates: C Jacob Stallings was scratched from Pittsburgh’s original starting lineup and placed on the seven-day concussion injured list. C Taylor Davis was promoted from Triple-A Indianapolis. RHP Bryce Wilson was transferred to the 60-day injured list to make room for Davis.
Reds: C Tyler Stephenson was placed on the 10-day injured list with an undisclosed injury. United States Olympic team C Mark Kolozsvary was promoted from Triple-A Louisville.
Pirates: RHP Mitch Keller (4-11) is 0-3 with a 7.86 earned-run average in six career starts against Cincinnati, including 0-2 in three starts this season.
Reds: RHP Tyler Mahle (12-5) is tied with LHP Wade Miley for the team lead in wins. He is 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA in three starts this season against Pittsburgh.

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