By MIKE FITZPATRICK
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Reds manager Dusty Baker went deep into his
dominant bullpen to find someone who could put away the New York
Jose Arredondo worked out of a ninth-inning jam for his first
major league save, Joey Votto hit a three-run homer and Cincinnati
held on for a 6-5 victory Saturday.
New York scored twice off Sean Marshall in the ninth, but Baker
pulled his regular closer in favor of Arredondo and he got the job
“I could have done without the drama, but we did win the
game,” Baker said.
Arredondo entered with two on and one out, and Derek Jeter
grounded his first pitch to third. Cincinnati nearly turned a
game-ending double play, but Jeter just beat the relay. Even Votto
thought the Reds had it won _ he clenched his fist when he caught
the ball at first base, hoping the game was over.
Curtis Granderson then fouled off a 3-0 pitch before topping a
slow roller to Votto for the final out.
“It wasn’t fun the way it ended,” Votto said. “Well, I take
that back. It was fun the way it ended. Just a little bit
nerve-racking at the end, but that’s part of wins and losses and it
was nice for Jose to come in and pick us up.”
Brandon Phillips got Cincinnati started with a run-scoring
single and the Reds overcame Ivan Nova’s career-high 12 strikeouts
to improve to 2-2 during their five-game visit to both New York
ballparks this week.
Homer Bailey (2-3) pitched effectively into the seventh inning
for the second consecutive outing. Cincinnati then turned it over
to its normally lights-out bullpen and held on to hand New York its
fourth loss in five games.
“We just didn’t get the last hit that we needed,” Yankees
manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s good that we’re able to come back,
but it’s frustrating that you get so close and lose.”
Logan Ondrusek retired Jeter on a shallow fly with two on to end
the seventh. Cuban flame-thrower Aroldis Chapman, hitting 99 mph on
the stadium scoreboard, whiffed Granderson and Robinson Cano in a
Raul Ibanez doubled to start the ninth and scored on Nick
Swisher’s single, snapping New York’s 0-for-22 skid with runners in
scoring position. Marshall threw a called third strike past Russell
Martin, but Andruw Jones singled to put runners at the corners and
Jayson Nix singled to make it 6-5.
That’s when Baker went to Arredondo.
“I didn’t really like the matchup there at the end with all
those righties coming up there against Marshall,” said Baker, who
hinted that he might consider moving Chapman into the closer role
Martin and Nix homered for the Yankees on a beautiful, 74-degree
day when three balls barely cleared the short porch in right field.
Bailey, drafted seventh overall in 2004, was 0-1 in his previous
four starts since beating the Cubs on April 20 for the franchise’s
10,000th victory. The 26-year-old right-hander struck out seven and
walked one in his first outing at Yankee Stadium.
“Overall, pitched a good game,” he said. “I’d be lying if I
said the anticipation wasn’t there. The first couple pitches it
looked like the plate was about 100 feet away.”
With the score tied 2-all, No. 9 batter Wilson Valdez singled
leading off the Cincinnati fifth and Chris Heisey followed with a
bunt single. One out later, Votto got just enough of an inner-half
slider from Nova (4-2) to drive it over the auxiliary scoreboard in
Five of Votto’s seven homers this season have come in the last
seven games, including a three-homer performance Sunday against
Washington that he capped with a game-ending grand slam.
“I’m starting to make progress,” the 2010 NL MVP said.
Nix homered in the bottom half to cut it to 5-3. An
eighth-inning throwing error by Yankees reliever David Phelps led
to Mike Costanzo’s sacrifice fly.
Nova had no problem with the bruised and sprained right foot
that knocked him out of Monday night’s start at Baltimore in the
sixth inning. Flashing a sharp curve, he struck out eight in the
first three innings and had 11 strikeouts after five, surpassing
his previous career high of 10.
The right-hander got himself in trouble with consecutive walks
in the first and Phillips put the Reds ahead with an RBI single.
Devin Mesoraco and Heisey both doubled in the second to make it
It was an early breakthrough for the Reds, silenced by
39-year-old Andy Pettitte in their first shutout loss of the season
Martin homered on the first pitch of the third and New York tied
it on Ibanez’s two-out RBI double in the fourth. Nova allowed seven
hits and two walks over six innings in his second loss since a
15-game winning streak.
“I don’t care about strikeouts,” Nova said. “I don’t like the
way I’m pitching right now. I’m making a lot of mistakes.”
NOTES: The series finale Sunday features an excellent pitching
matchup. Reds RHP Johnny Cueto (4-1, 1.89 ERA) faces Yankees ace CC
Sabathia (5-1, 3.77). Cueto’s 2.20 ERA over the past two seasons is
the best in the majors. … Cincinnati rookie SS Zack Cozart, with
one hit in his last 26 at-bats, was not in the lineup. Valdez
started in his place and moved to third when Cozart entered for
defense in the eighth. … Costanzo got his first major league
start (at DH) and singled in the sixth for his first career hit.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)