The Reds managed to win tonight, 9-8, despite allowing five home runs to the Pirates, to pull themselves slightly further out of last place. George Grande is getting to say “smiling side of the scoreboard,” and you can tell he's relishing the opportunity.
Bobby Livingston started the game on 3-days rest. He went five and one-third innings, allowing two runs (earned) on six hits, including the first of the Pirate home runs to Matt Morris. Always good when you're giving up homers to the pitcher.
Todd Coffey pitched a third of an inning in the fifth and gave up the second of the homers, a two-run shot to Jason Bay. In total, he allowed three runs (earned) on one hit, a walk, and a wild pitch. Mike Gosling took over to finish out the inning by giving up the next of the home runs, a solo shot to Nate McLouth.
However, thanks to four early runs by the Reds, the Pirates' five-run inning only put the game slightly out of reach.
The Reds hung in, though. When Mike Stanton got out of a zero-out, bases loaded situation in the seventh inning, the Crack Technical Staff sarcastically, “I hope they send him back out to start the eighth.” Edwin Encarnación hit a rally killer in the top of the eighth to tie the game at sixes. But then the Reds really did send Stanton back out for the eighth. And he gave up the next home run on the second pitch of the inning to give up the lead again.
Never fear, though, because Jeff Keppinger hit his own rally killer in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game again, and for a change, the bullpen didn't give up the lead in the bottom of the inning. Adam Dunn's two-run homer in the top of the tenth outshone Kepp's contribution.
And rightfully so, since David Weathers came in the bottom of the tenth to give up the final Pirate homer to Jack Wilson.
The win brings the Reds' record to 47-64. Tomorrow they go for the sweep of the Pirates and the attempt to claw themselves ever-closer to third place. Bronson Arroyo goes up against Tom Gorzelanny.