As the Reds exited the All-Star break, starter Mat Latos spoke of the need for the Reds to find a different hero every night. For the second straight night, the Reds got a big out from one of their less heralded relievers, as right-hander Logan Ondrusek came into the game in the eighth inning Saturday with the bases loaded and got Jose Tabata to end the inning, helping give the Reds a 5-4 victory over the Pirates in front of 34,728. The victory, credited to Latos, guarantees the Reds a series win against the team directly in front of them in the National League Central. The Reds scored four times in the first and had a 5-3 lead in the eighth with Alfredo Simon on the mound. Simon easily retired the first two batters he faced before Jordy Mercer singled with two outs. Pinch-hitter Travis Snider followed with an RBI double to make it 5-4 before Simon walked pinch-hitter Gaby Sanchez. After a first-pitch strike to leadoff man Starling Marte, Simon hit him to load the bases. Reds manager Dusty Baker brought in Ondrusek, who started the season in Double-A and had already been demoted once this season. Ondrusek came through, getting Tabata to ground to second to preserve the lead. It was the fifth time this season Ondrusek had been put into the game in the eighth inning this season, but his first since he was recalled from Triple-A Louisville. Entering Saturday's game, Ondrusek had a 10.29 ERA in the eighth inning, but Baker went with him anyway to face the dangerous Tabata. "It's a huge confidence boost, I used to have that job quite a bit," Ondrusek said. "I fell off early on, but now I'm just trying to work my way back." Aroldis Chapman worked out of trouble for his 23rd save of the season, but that wasn't without drama. Third baseman Jack Hannahan double-pumped on Andrew McCutchen's grounder to lead off the inning, giving the speedy Pirate center fielder just enough time to reach first safely. McCutchen then went to second on Chapman's errant pickoff attempt. Pedro Alvarez followed with a grounder to short, but Zack Cozart bobbled the ball to put runners on the corners with no outs. Chapman got Russell Martin to pop up to second and then struck out pinch hitter Michael McKenry for the first two outs of the inning. Jordy Mercer then struck out on three pitches, the final one recording 102 mph on the radar gun.
Despite delay and late scare, Reds hold off Pirates 5-4
Cincinnati Enquirer | Jul 21