Big Red Machine steamrolls Cubs, drops Lou’s crew with 7 big flies
By: By The Associated Press
Joey Votto and his Cincinnati teammates made like the Big Red Machine and the Colorado Rockies found some of that Rocktober magic for one of the few times this season.
Votto hit three of Cincinnati’s seven home runs, four came in one inning off Chicago starter Jon Lieber, and the Reds beat the Cubs 9-0 at home on Wednesday.
Later in Denver, Chris Iannetta’s two-run triple off Jason Isringhausen capped a four-run eighth inning and the Rockies rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3.
On a wet, windy afternoon at Great American Ballpark, the home run was everything.
Votto started a four-homer second inning off Lieber (2-2), making his first start of the season. Adam Dunn and Paul Bako also had solo shots, and Jerry Hairston Jr.’s two-run homer completed the rally.
Lieber joined Phil Norton as the only Cubs pitchers to allow four homers in an inning.
“It just happened so fast,” said Lieber, who had never given up more than three in a game. “You try and regroup, and it just didn’t happen. Basically, (pitches were) across the middle of the plate. I’m the kind of pitcher that’s not going to get away with stuff like that.”
In other NL games it was, New York 12, Los Angeles 1; Atlanta 5, San Diego 2; Pittsburgh 3, San Francisco 1; Florida 6, Milwaukee 2; Houston 4, Washington 3; and Philadelphia 5, Arizona 4.
In Cincinnati, Brandon Phillips and Votto had back-to-back solo homers off Sean Marshall in the fifth, with Votto sending a fastball into the Reds’ bullpen in center.
An inning later, Votto went to the opposite field on a fastball from Sean Gallagher, a two-run homer that left him with seven for the season.
Given a chance to try for a fourth, Votto grounded out in the eighth against Michael Wuertz.
“I’m not going to lie: It was in the back of my head,” Votto said. “I thought if I got a good swing on a good pitch, I had a chance to do some good. In games like this, you don’t know why it happens. You just go with the flow, and that’s what I did.”
The seven homers were Cincinnati’s most since it hit an NL-record nine at Philadelphia on Sept. 4, 1999. Votto became the 23rd Reds player to hit three in a game, the first since Aaron Boone on May 8, 2003.
Edinson Volquez (5-1) hardly needed that much support. He struck out 10 in seven innings while lowering his ERA to an NL-best 1.06.
In Denver, after managing just four hits off Adam Wainwright in seven innings, the downtrodden defenders of the NL pennant rallied against a St. Louis bullpen that has been brilliant in the early season.
The Rockies won for just the fourth time in 17 games.
“A win like this is huge for us because it’s just one of those friendly reminders that we are a good enough team to come back,” Ryan Spilborghs said. “It’s a nice reminder for us to just see that.”
And to finally be able to reminiscence over last year’s 21-1 run-up to the World Series when the Rockies could do no wrong, late rallies were the norm, clutch hitting was contagious and good pitching was rewarded.
Omar Quintanilla started the rally by singling off Kyle McClellan with one out, and Matt Holliday tripled him home. Left-hander Randy Flores came in and got Todd Helton to fly out to third before Garrett Atkins drew a walk after his high foul fell harmlessly to the dirt when first baseman Albert Pujols tried to barehand it as it drifted back into the field.
“It’s a play he should have made,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.
Instead, Isringhausen (1-3) had to come in earlier than the Cardinals would have liked, and he allowed Spilborghs’ pinch-hit RBI single after fighting off a bunch of pitches.
Iannetta sliced a triple into the right-field corner on the first pitch he saw, a sinker down and away.
Ryan Speier (1-1) picked up the win with a scoreless inning of relief, and Brian Fuentes picked up his third save in five chances.
Braves 5, Padres 2
At Atlanta, pinch-hitter Greg Norton broke a seventh-inning tie with a bases-loaded single and Atlanta won its fifth straight.
With the game tied 2-2, Padres starter Randy Wolf (2-2) was lifted after loading the bases in the seventh on Brian McCann’s double, Matt Diaz’s single and Mark Kotsay’s walk.
Norton broke the tie with an RBI single off Joe Thatcher.
Tim Hudson (5-2) gave up six hits and two runs in seven innings. Manny Acosta recorded the final two outs for his third save.
Mets 12, Dodgers 1
At Los Angeles, John Maine became the first New York starter this season to pitch more than seven innings, taking a shutout into the ninth.
Maine (4-2) hit a two-run single and finished with one earned run and four hits allowed in 81/3 innings.
Brad Penny (5-3) allowed 10 runs in 42/3 innings, the most off him in 236 career big league starts.
Pirates 3, Giants 1
At Pittsburgh, Xavier Nady hit a two-run homer to spoil Barry Zito’s mostly effective return to the Giants rotation and Pittsburgh’s Phil Dumatrait pitched 52/3 scoreless innings for his first career win.
Zito (0-7) worked five innings, allowing three hits, two runs, two walks and five strikeouts.
Dumatrait (1-1) struck out five, walked one and allowed five hits before leaving with a runner on second and two out in the sixth.
Marlins 6, Brewers 2
At Miami, Florida rookie Burke Badenhop pitched 52/3 innings for his first major league victory and Milwaukee lost its fifth game in a row.
Jorge Cantu and Dan Uggla hit back-to-back homers for Florida.
Badenhop (1-2) gave up five hits and two runs. He had a season-high seven strikeouts and walked only one.
Dave Bush (0-4) gave up six runs in six innings.
Astros 4, Nationals 3
At Houston, Carlos Lee drove in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning with a single to lift Houston to its fifth straight win.
Matsui walked and stole second in the ninth before Joel Hanrahan (0-2) intentionally walked Lance Berkman. Jesus Colome came on in relief and Matsui advanced to third on a wild pitch before Lee’s hit.
Houston closer Jose Valverde (4-1) pitched a perfect ninth.
Ryan Zimmerman had two homers for Washington.
Phillies 5, Diamondbacks 4
At Phoenix, Eric Bruntlett tied the game in the eighth with an RBI double and Chase Utley followed with an run scoring single to put the Phillies on top to stay.
Conor Jackson went 2-for-3 with two RBI, including a run-scoring double that put Arizona up 4-3 in the seventh, but he left the game after a nasty head-to-head collision with the Phillies’ Shane Victorino in the eighth.
Chad Qualls (0-3) gave up two runs on two hits in two-thirds of an inning to take the loss. J.C. Romero (3-0) pitched two-thirds of an inning to get the victory. Brad Lidge pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save.