Coming off one of the best performances of his career, Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Homer Bailey wasn’t his sharpest Sunday afternoon against Miami.
But the Cincinnati offense made sure he didn’t need to be.
After leaving eight runners on base through the first six innings, the Reds erupted for eight runs in the seventh to break a 2-2 tie on the way to a 10-6 victory before a crowd of 22,882 at Great American Ball Park.
“We left a lot of runs out there early, but then that big inning kind of iced it,” Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said. “(Todd) Frazier came through with a big two-out hit. The team that gets the most two-out RBI hits usually wins.”
Following RBI singles by Brandon Phillips and Devin Mesoraco, Frazie — one of four regulars who did not start — drove in three runs with a two-out double to help send the Reds (11-8) to their six win in the last seven games.
Shin-Soo Choo added an RBI double in the frame as part of a 2-for-2 today that saw him reach base all five times after reaching safely six times Saturday. And Joey Votto shook off concerns about his early lack of power by going 3-for-5 with his second home run in as many days.
“I understand the concern and the short-term thinking, but I’ve told everyone I’m healthy and I’m working through it,” Votto said after homering in back-to-back games for the first time since Sept. 10-11, 2011.
“I don’t feel obligated to hit home runs to quell everyone’s concerns,” Votto added. “I’m not concerned about the home runs. The Reds pay me to be good, and that’s really all I try to do. I try to be the best I can, and if I go through a little homer drought I try to fill in with other things.”
The seventh-inning outburst came one inning after Bailey had departed, enabling Logan Ondrusek (1-0) to pick up the win after striking out the side in the seventh.
Bailey was coming off eight shutout innings against Philadelphia in which he struck out a career high-tying 10 batters while allowing just two hits and no walks. Sunday he gave up seven hits, three walks and two runs, but he also fanned eight batters and was able to strand eight runners.
“Homer didn’t have his best stuff,” Baker said. “His breaking ball wasn’t good today. At least it was consistent. But Homer can pitch. He pitched good enough to keep us in the ballgame.”
Alfredo Simon followed Ondrusek with a perfect eighth, but Manny Parra allowed four runs on four hits in the ninth — including a three-run homer by former Red Miguel Olivo — before getting Justin Ruggiano to fly out to Jay Bruce to end the game.
“I told the guys, ‘You never know which hit is going to be enough’ because you see that they were threatening at the end there,” Baker said after watching his team improve to 4-0 in series at GABP this season.
“I feel good where we are this point in time,” Baker added. “Now we’ve got a new series (starting tonight against the Chicago Cubs). I think we can still play better.”