Hours after a successful arthroscopic surgery, the Cincinnati Reds took the field without their first baseman Joey Votto. The All-Star will be on the disabled list for 3 to 4 weeks, in the mean time the Reds club will have to tighten their belts and get to work. Easier said than done, prior to Votto’s knee injury; he proudly owned a .342 batting average and an OBP of .465. Votto continues to lead the league in doubles even after a tough week playing on an injured knee.
The Reds lineup placed veteran outfielder Ryan Ludwick batting cleanup while Brandon Phillips stepped into Votto’s three-spot. The lineup also lacked All-Star Jay Bruce, the Reds’ skipper wanted to give all of his 2012 All-Star players an extra day off this first week (Votto, Bruce, and Chapman).
The Reds drew first blood in the first inning with a leadoff hitter Drew Stubbs drawing a walk. Cozart moved the runner on a fielding error. Stubbs and Cozart both stole a bag allowing Ryan Ludwick’s walk to score a run. Arizona’s rookie hurler Trevor Bauer kept the Cincy Clouters at bay until the bottom of the 3rd. Cozart again took a walk and advanced two bases on a throwing error and a wild pitch. Back-to-back walks put runners on first and third bringing the cleanup batter Ryan Ludwick to the plate. Ryan Ludwick banged a long ball to deep left field scoring Cozart and Phillips putting the Reds on top 4-0. The Diamondbacks stranded 12 runners on 8 hits, held scoreless at the end of the game.
Reds ace Johnny Cueto gave up no runs on four hits in six innings. Cueto was relieved by a number of weary Reds bullpen relief pitchers including Jose Arredondo, Sam Lecure, and Sean Marshall. The bullpen kept the D-back bats quite for Reds closer Aroldis Chapman to pound in the triple-digit coffin nails. Chapman fanned slugger Aaron Hill with runners at first and second, earning his 14th save of the season. Johnny Cueto’s quality start ensured his 11th win this season while he carries a 2.28 ERA with 94 strike outs.
The Reds 4-0 victory over the struggling D-Backs tied the series a game apiece. Wednesday night’s 7:10 matchup will be between right handed Reds hurler Mat Latos and D-Back righty Ian Kennedy. Mat Latos leads the Reds club with 103 strikeouts; Latos is 7-2 on the season with a 4.10 ERA. Mat Latos has pitched 109 2/3 innings while giving up 17 home run balls. Ian Kennedy is 6-8 on the season with an ERA of 4.55. Kennedy has pitched 122.2 innings while giving up 14 home runs and 99 strikeouts. Kennedy has shutdown the Reds offense before and will be looking to keep them in check tonight. Latos has been lights out in his last few outings pitching back-to-back complete games. Latos took a tough loss at Petco, his old stomping grounds in San Diego earlier in the month but bounced back in a no decision 5-3 win against the St. Louis Cardinals. In the last seven days Latos holds onto a 3.60 ERA and Kennedy a 10.80. Latos is tied for fourth in the NL in home runs, along with other Cincy hurler Homer Bailey followed by the 12th ranked Ian Kennedy.
The Reds have scored 377 runs this year with 99 home runs. This club will be looking to notch their season’s 100th long ball.
The D-Backs are 7 games from the division leader San Francisco Giants.
The Reds only have a 1 game lead on the Pirates, while putting distance between the third place Cardinals at 4.5 games back.