Reds fans chanted, “Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!”
In the top of the eighth inning Tuesday with their team down 2-1, they settled on a realistic goal and free LaRosa’s pizza was just one strikeout away. A second run for Cincinnati seemed about as likely as a rainbow suddenly appearing over the stadium — actually much less likely because that actually happened in the early innings.
The fans did get their pizza on a strikeout by Logan Ondrusek. The Reds, after being stymied most of the night, even got that tying run in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single by Joey Votto.
The game moved to extra innings for the third time in four days, but the struggling Cubs (6-13) got the last laugh this time. Darwin Barney’s home run to left in the 10th off Manna Parra broke a 2-2 tie and the Cubs added one more to win 4-2 in the second game of the three-game series at Great American Ball Park.
Parra struck out the side in the ninth. Reds manager Dusty Baker stuck with him in the 10th because the bullpen was short on arms after two 13-inning games in the previous three days.
“We had to stick with Manny because Manny was our only guy,” Baker said. “Ordinarily, he wouldn’t have been out there that second time because he threw a great inning the inning before. He made a mistake, man, on Barney. He was trying to go outside and came inside.”
Reds pitchers struck out 13 batters in all. LaRosa’s gives free small pizzas to fans with ticket stubs anytime the Reds strike out at least 11. That’s happened five times in the last six games.
Tony Cingrani gave up five hits and struck out nine in his second career start for the Reds (12-9).
“I was a lot more comfortable,” Cingrani said. “The tempo was a little bit slower today.”
Cingrani gave up two runs, both in the second. Alfonso Soriano singled to lead off the inning. Despite having stolen one base all season, he took second and third with one out and scored on a sacrifice fly by Scott Hairston.
The next batter, Cody Ransom, homered on the first pitch he saw.
Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva gave up one run in the first eight innings, a home run by Chris Heisey in the third.
Shin-Soo Choo was the only other Red to have any success against Villanueva. He went 3-for-4 with a walk and has reached base in 18 of his last 23 plate appearances.
The score remained 2-1 until the ninth when the Reds rallied. Choo walked to lead off the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Zack Cozart.
At that point, Carlos Marmol relieved Villanueva. Votto singled off Marmol to tie the game.