Cincinnati Reds Win First Series Since July Behind Joey Votto’s Go-Ahead Bomb


9. . 7. 61. 4

W: J.J. Hoover (7-0)

L: Hector Rondon (5-3)

SV: Aroldis Chapman (27)

There just aren’t many pitchers who can stop Joey Votto right now. The Cincinnati Reds’ first baseman struck out three times in Wednesday’s game against the Chicago Cubs, but came through when it really mattered with a three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to lift his team to their first series victory since July 27-29 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Votto got the opportunity to bat in the ninth because Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant had a ground ball from Jay Bruce go right through his legs with two outs. Pitcher Hector Rondon then got behind 2-0 on Votto, and he paid dearly for it as the next pitch was launched into the bleachers in center field.

The clutch home run helped to quickly erase the memories of Bryant’s game-tying home run the previous inning, which wasted another gem from Raisel Iglesias. The rookie exited the game with a 4-2 lead after allowing only two runs on three hits and three walks in seven innings. He also struck out 10, his third consecutive start with double-digit strikeouts. Want to guess how many Reds’ rookies have done that before? That’s right, none.

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But Iglesias was denied a win yet again as J.J. Hoover came on in the eighth and walked a batter before giving up the blast to Bryant.

The game looked to be in peril for the Reds again in the ninth as Aroldis Chapman struggled to find the strike zone, but he was able to gather himself to pick up his 27th save of the season.

Before Votto’s homer, the Reds got offense from across the board. Jason Bourgeois led the game off with a solo home run, just his second of the season and fifth of his career.

Eugenio Suarez plated another run in the second with an RBI single, but the Cubs would cut the 2-0 lead in half with a third-inning solo home run by Tommy La Stella, his first of the year.

Anthony Rizzo tied things with another solo home run in the fourth, but Iglesias would help his own cause with a run-scoring triple in the fifth to put the Reds back on top. A ground out by Brayan Pena scored another in the sixth and it looked like Iglesias might pick up his first win since Aug. 12, but he was failed by the bullpen.

Luckily for Iglesias, he has an MVP contender on his team to get his back.

Other Notes:

  • You really can’t say enough about Votto. He’s now hitting .316/.457/.567 with 27 home runs and 70 runs batted in this year, and .399/.578/.748 since the All-Star break. That’s not just a great run, it’s an historic run.
  • Votto was joined by Bourgeois (single, homer), Suarez (single, double, walk) and Brandon Phillips (three singles) in getting on base multiple times against the Cubs on Wednesday.
  • The Reds also got the running game going a bit — something that’s been much less frequent since Billy Hamilton went on the disabled list — with steals from Eugenio Suarez (his fourth) and Brayan Pena (his second).

Up Next: The Reds are off on Thursday, but will welcome the Milwaukee Brewers into town for a three-game series starting on Friday. Keyvius Sampson is slated to start game one, while Matt Garza will get the ball for the Brewers. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.

Next: Reds make first round of September call-ups