Votto’s Walk-Off Hit Gives Cincinnati Reds 5-4 Win Over Pirates


4. 4. 5. 61.

All offseason long, Joey Votto heard criticism about his batting approach and how he took too many walks while not driving in enough runs. Hopefully after tonight, Votto silenced those critics.

With the Cincinnati Reds down 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Votto stepped to the plate and delivered a single to score Billy Hamilton and tie the game. Fast forward to the bottom of the 11th and the Reds’ first baseman stepped up again, smacking a line drive that fell into right field, scoring Zack Cozart and giving his team to a 2-0 record to start the season.

Funny enough, it was a walk to Hamilton — who went 3-for-5 with a run scored and three stolen bases on the night — that put Cozart in scoring position and kept the inning going.

It was a back-and-forth game for the two teams. After a rain delay that lasted over two hours, Todd Frazier started off the scoring with a solo home run in the bottom of the first off of Pirates starter Gerrit Cole. The Pirates answered in the top of the second with an RBI double from Pedro Alvarez.

The Reds’ second run of the day came on a wild pitch by Cole that allowed Cozart to score, but the Pirates again answered the very next inning on another RBI double, this time by Francisco Cervelli.

When the Reds answered in the bottom of the fourth on a run-scoring single from Brandon Phillips? You guessed it, the Pirates answered again on a Neil Walker sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth.

Tony Cingrani relieved Mike Leake — who went only 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits with six walks and six strikeouts — and was tagged with an earned run in his inning of work (though it was newcomer Burke Badenhop who actually gave up the RBI single to Corey Hart) to give the Pirates a 4-3 lead. Votto continued the back-and-forth trend with his game-tying single in the bottom of the inning.

Jumbo Diaz and Aroldis Chapman fired shutout innings in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively. J.J. Hoover came in to pitch in extra innings and made fans forget his subpar performance a season ago with his outing tonight. He tossed two shutout innings and allowed only an infield single, ultimately earning the win.

Up Next: The Reds are back at it on Thursday at 12:35 p.m. ET, less than 12 hours after Wednesday night’s game came to an end. Anthony DeSclafani will make his Reds debut while veteran A.J. Burnett will oppose him.

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