Reds outlast Pirates in 14 innings
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Devin Mesoraco scored on Ryan Ludwick's infield single in the bottom of the 14th inning to lift the Cincinnati Reds to a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.
The Pirates squandered a bases-loaded opportunity with no outs in the top of the 14th as Alfredo Simon (3-2) managed to escape the jam. Pittsburgh also failed to score with the bags full in the 10th.
Mesoraco lined a single off the left-field wall to begin the 14th. Brandon Phillips then hit a dribbler in front of the plate. Catcher Michael McKenry tried to get the lead runner, but Mesoraco beat the throw to second base.
Rick VandenHurk (0-1), who had his contract selected from Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday, retired the next two batters before uncorking a wild pitch. Ludwick then hit a sharp grounder to shortstop. Chase d'Arnaud, whom the Pirates also recalled from Indianapolis, made a diving stop, but was unable to make the throw to first.
"I stunk the entire game. ... I'm just glad I got the job done in the 14th," Ludwick said.
Considering Pittsburgh southpaw Wandy Rodriguez owned a 13-inning scoreless streak and Mat Latos had stymied the Pirates in the past, it wasn't surprising that runs were at a premium.
Rodriguez had allowed only one hit -- a Chris Heisey solo home run -- prior to the seventh inning. He gave up a leadoff single to birthday boy Joey Votto, who was erased on a fielder's choice. Jay Bruce then hit a potential double- play grounder, but hustled to beat the shortstop Clint Barmes' throw and keep the inning alive.
Todd Frazier followed with an infield hit, triggering a pitching change. Jared Hughes replaced Rodriguez and promptly yielded a two-run double to Dioner Navarro that tied the game at 3-all.
Latos, meanwhile, pitched six innings for the Reds, surrendering three runs -- all in the fourth -- and five hits. The right-hander struggled a little with his command, walking four, but did match Rodriguez with five strikeouts.
Andrew McCutchen led off the Pittsburgh fourth with a home run to left field. Pedro Alvarez and Barmes both worked walks around a Jose Tabata ground-rule double, loading the bases for Rod Barajas. The Pirates catcher plated a run with a bloop single tight to the line in right that was nearly caught by the first baseman Votto. Rodriguez then helped his own cause by contributing an RBI groundout.
Rodriguez retired the first 10 batters he faced before serving up the home run to Heisey in the bottom of the fourth.
"Wandy pitched another fantastic game," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
The Pirates have lost seven straight road games ... Latos entered play 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA in five previous matchups against Pittsburgh. He struck out 16 over 13 1/3 scoreless innings over two outings earlier this season ... The Pirates were 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left 15 men on base ... Votto celebrated his 29th birthday.