McCoy: No Wally Pipp situation here, but Schrock comes up big for Reds in series win

The Cincinnati Reds first baseman produced a home run and five hits Sunday afternoon in Citi Field.

And it wasn’t Joey Votto.

It was Max Schrock, filling in at first base while Votto took a day off, relaxing in the dugout after hitting nine home runs in his previous eight games.

Schrock spent more time on the base paths than the foul lines with the home run, four singles, two RBI and three runs scored.

The big man on this day, though, was rookie pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez, who muzzled and mesmerized the New York Mets for seven innings en route to a 7-1 victory.

It isn’t likely that this is a Wally Pipp situation, as in the New York Yankees first baseman who took a day off with a headache and was replaced in the lineup by Lou Gehrig ... for the next 2,130 games.

Votto will be back in the lineup Tuesday night in Great American Ball Park when the Reds open a two-game series against the Minnesota Twins, followed by four against the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates.

Asked about the secret to his one-day eruption, Shrock said, “I wish I knew I’d do it more often. I was just up there trying to see some good pitches and not do too much.”

As a result, he did a lot.

As the hits mounted, Schrock said batting coach Alan Zinter kept prodding him to get another hit and another and another.

“He kept telling me, ‘Keep going, keep going, don’t be satisfied,’” said Schrock.

And Votto?

“He just told me to keep going, keep swinging it,” said Schrock.

It, of course, was manager David Bell who decided to give Votto a respite and plant Schrock into Votto’s clean-up role.

“What a great day,” said Bell. “We’ve seen Max all year swing the bat very well, hit the ball hard. Every time he has gotten going a little bit he has had setbacks. We have to keep him healthy. What a great player to be able to step in and pick Joey up.”

Citi Field has been unkind to the Reds for several years, but the Reds won this series 2-1, their first series conquest in Citi Field since May 2013.

Gutierrez held the Mets to one run and three hits for his seven innings and left after using up only 80 pitches.

He had a no-hitter until two outs in the fifth when Kevin Pillar singled. He lost the shutout in the sixth on a solo home run by Jeff McNeil. By then, though, the Reds led 4-0.

Gutierrez was a rotation plug-in in late May when the starting staff was plundered by injuries. He wasn’t expect to stick. But he remains an integral part of the rotation with a 6-3 record and a 4.39 ERA.

“I’m just appreciative that they’ve given me the opportunity to be up here and be the fifth starter,” said the Cuban-born right hander. “They’ve given me the confidence to go out there and throw as many innings as I can. I’m glad I’m with this ball club right now and helping them win games.”

Mychal Givens pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, and Justin Wilson cleaned it up in the ninth with a 1-2-3 inning.

It was Givens’ third appearance and third straight scoreless inning after the Reds acquired him last Friday from the Colorado Rockies.

“He knows what he is doing, he has the experience, he has the stuff,” said Bell. “He has deception and gives a different look out of our bullpen. You talk about confidence? He is a guy who steps in and believes in himself.”

The Reds remain seven games behind first-place Milwaukee after the Brewers beat Atlanta 2-1 on Sunday afternoon.

Shrock put the game’s first run on the board with a two-out home run in the fourth against Mets starter Marcus Stroman.

The last time the Reds saw Stroman, on the last homestand in Great American Ball Park, he held them to no runs and one hit over eight innings. The Reds, though, got to him Sunday with three runs in the sixth and knocked him out of the game.

Jesse Winker opened the inning with a ground ball double just inside the first base bag and scored on Kyle Farmer’s triple. Farmer scored on Tyler Stephenson’s sacrifice fly.

Schrock singled and Tyler Naquin walked, ending Stroman’s day. Relief pitcher Miguel Castro walked Aristides Aquino to fill the bases and then incredibly, walked pitcher Gutierrez on four pitches to force in a run that gave the Reds a 4-1 lead.

Schrock completed his career day in the ninth with his fifth hit, a run-scoring single as the Reds put it away with three runs.

In 5 2/3 innings, Stroman gave up four runs and eight hits, tying the most runs he has given up this season.

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