By Kevin Kelly
Enquirer staff writer
For official scoring purposes, it was a non-save situation. The Reds had no other arms, and therefore no option but to summon closer Danny Graves into the lost cause Sunday against the Pirates.
"That's really the first time something like that has happened," Graves said. "That's how weird this game is. I'm just glad it's over with."
With four pitches to Pirates center fielder Tike Redman, Graves ended a stunning ninth inning before 35,262 fans at Great American Ball Park.
Pittsburgh scored eight times before the inning's final out, and beat the Reds 14-4.
The loss, Cincinnati's second consecutive against the last-place Pirates, was compounded when first baseman Sean Casey left the game in the seventh inning with a right calf strain.
It also dropped the Reds five games behind the first-place Cardinals in the National League Central standings.
"Today," Reds manager Dave Miley said, "was a long day."
Particularly long for relief pitcher Mike Matthews.
"Sometimes you have situations when somebody has got to bite the bullet," Miley said. "Today was one of those situations."
Each of the eight runs and nine hits by the Pirates in the ninth inning came off the left-handed Matthews.
"It's hard to explain when a team can get nine hits off of you in two-thirds of an inning," Matthews said. "It's tough to validate your stuff."
Pittsburgh led 6-3 when they batted in the ninth inning.
Craig Wilson started the prolonged rally with a leadoff double to center field, and everything snowballed from there.
"Hitting is contagious," Reds left fielder Adam Dunn said. "And it got contagious."
Matthews allowed five hits - three of those were doubles - to start the inning. He walked pinch-hitter J.J. Davis before getting Jason Kendall to fly out for the first out. Jack Wilson followed with a two-run triple to right field before Matthews struck out the next batter for the second out.
The Pirates added two more singles and one double before Matthews was pulled from the game.
"It happened so fast," Matthews said. "You just try to make pitches and try to get out of it. I'm not the first to do it and I'm sure I won't be the last. Everybody has a bad day. Unfortunately today was mine."
The eight runs were the most allowed by the Reds this season, and it bumped Matthews' ERA from 3.38 to 7.56. He had allowed just six earned runs in 16 innings before Sunday.
"It's tough for Mike to go through, but he's done a great job for us," Miley said. "It's a situation where you're hoping to get him through it. It's something you wish didn't happen."
The Reds trailed 6-3 entering the inning and were limited offensively by Pirates pitching for the second consecutive game.
Pittsburgh's Josh Fogg started Sunday's game and scattered those three runs in his six innings.
Dunn hit a solo home run - his 21st this season - in the second inning to give the Reds a 1-0 lead. Third baseman Juan Castro doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly in the third. Fogg allowed a leadoff single to Reds first baseman Sean Casey in the seventh.
Casey pulled up halfway down the first-base line, and came out of the game with a right calf strain. He will be re-evaluated today.
"I'm hoping this is just a minor setback, and I'll be back in there," Casey said. "Hopefully that's all it is."
Tim Hummel replaced Casey at first base and scored on a pinch-hit infield single by Wily Mo Pena. Dunn added his second solo homer of the game in the ninth inning to make it 14-4.
The Pirates scored four runs against Reds starting pitcher Paul Wilson (7-2). The right-hander allowed five hits, but was especially disappointed with his six walks.
"It's not Mike's fault. It's nobody's fault except for mine," said Wilson, whose last win came May 25. "It's my job to go out there and throw strikes and get to the seventh or eighth inning. I just didn't do that.
"I didn't do my job, wasn't pitching to contact and just stunk it up."
Phil Norton allowed the other two Pirates runs.
|Griffey Jr. cf||4||0||0||0||0||1||.239|
a-popped out for Wilson in the 6th. b-struck out for Simon in the 7th. c-singled for Cruz in the 7th. d-singled for Corey in the 8th. e-struck out for Jones in the 8th. f-walked for Torres in the 9th. g-flied out for Graves in the 9th.
1-ran for Casey in the 7th.
E-CWilson (5). LOB-Pittsburgh 11, Cincinnati 6. 2B-JWilson (18), CWilson 2 (18), TRedman (7), Stynes (8), JCastro (10). 3B-JWilson (6). HR-Bay (9), off PWilson; Dunn 2 (22), off Vogelsong, Fogg. RBIs-Kendall (30), JWilson 3 (30), Bay 4 (24), Castillo (13), TRedman (23), Stynes 2 (13), Fogg (1), DJimenez (23), Dunn 2 (48), WPena (21). SB-Mackowiak (8). CS-Kendall (6). SF-Kendall, DJimenez.
Runners left in scoring position-Pittsburgh 6 (Kendall 2, Mackowiak, Bay, TAlvarez, TRedman); Cincinnati 3 (DJimenez, Griffey Jr., JCastro).
Runners moved up-CWilson, TRedman, PWilson.
DP-Cincinnati 1 (LaRue and Larkin).
|Fogg W, 5-6||6||3||3||3||0||0||79||6.66|
|Grabow H, 6||2/3||0||0||0||1||2||15||4.13|
|Corey H, 1||1/3||1||0||0||0||0||9||5.06|
|STorres H, 11||1||1||0||0||0||1||12||3.21|
Fogg pitched to 1 batter in the 7th, PNorton pitched to 2 batters in the 8th.
|PWilson L, 7-2||6||5||4||4||6||6||122||3.69|
Inherited runners-scored-Grabow 1-0, Corey 2-1, PNorton 2-0, TJones 2-2, Graves 2-0.
IBB-off PWilson (Hill) 1. HBP-by PNorton (Hill). WP-Corey, Vogelsong, MMatthews 2.
Umpires-Home, Sam Holbrook; First, Paul Nauert; Second, Randy Marsh; Third, Larry Vanover.
T-3:24. A-35,262 (42,271).
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