On a night when the Cardinals had already lost (not by bullpen-implosion for once), the Cincinnati Reds battled, but came up just short to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Johnny Cueto had another great start, allowing 1 earned run on 7 innings pitched. Unfortunately, the offense that so often scores in great big bunches for him was a little less loud tonight.
Newly minted All Star Joey Votto got things off right with a solo shot in the first, but the Phillies quickly tied it. They would take the lead in the 3rd, and then again in the 8th.
In the 9th, the Reds went to work against the broken Brad Lidge. Votto led off with a single. He reached third on a double play ball by Jay Bruce. Then Dusty Baker sent Miguel Cairo up to pinch hit. At this point, I was doubting that the Reds late-inning magic would be able to strike again. I was wrong.
Cairo doubled to left field, and Votto walked home to score the tying run.
The Phillies were held scoreless in the bottom of the 9th, so off to extras we went. Logan Ondrusek pitched a scoreless 10th, and then it was Jordan Smith’s turn. After getting through the heart of the lineup in the 11th, he started the 12th against the bottom of the order.
Smith got the first batter on a ground-out to Scott Rolen. But the second batter, Brian Schneider, homered on the second pitch he saw. That ended the Reds road, extra-inning games streak and prevented the team from going up 4 games on St. Louis.
The good news is this, though. The Reds will still be in first-place at the All Star break. They’re playing even with last year’s National League Champs, and they show no signs of stopping anytime soon.