The Cincinnati Reds needed a win in the worst way Saturday. After coming back from the road trip and getting trounced by the St. Louis Cardinals in game one of the series, Devin Mesoraco made sure that game two was going to go to the Reds as he homered twice in a 8-3 win.
Things looked bleak early as the Cardinals scored an early run in the first inning thanks to a Carlos Beltran RBI-double.
But the Reds didn't seemed phased. In the bottom half of the inning Jack Hannahan gave the Reds the lead with a two-run single.
Reds starter Tony Cingrani buckled down after the 30-pitch first inning allowing just three hits over his next four innings. He struck out seven on the day but also issued five walks.
Mesoraco took over in the fourth inning. After two quick outs, Zack Cozart drew a walk and brought Devin to the plate. On the first pitch from Jake Westbrook, Mesoraco lifted the ball into the seats into left field and gave the Reds a 4-1 lead.
After adding a run in the fifth off of a Brandon Phillips run-scoring double, Mesoraco came back for more in the eighth. This time, he launched the second pitch into left field for his eighth home run of the season. Two batters later, Shin-Soo Choo added to the hit parade and launched a two-run bomb into right extending the lead to 8-3.
Since Ryan Hanigan was placed on the disabled list on July 11, Mesoraco has hit four home runs and 12 RBI's in fifteen games.
"Getting the additional reps always helps, especially when you know you're going to play every day," Mesoraco said. "You're not out there really pressing trying to get a hit because you're not going to be in the lineup. And when you're playing well, that breeds confidence. I feel confident at the plate, I feel confident in my swing, so I think I'm just going out there and trying to do my job the best I can."
The Reds bullpen came up big as well. After Cingrani left the bases loaded in the fifth, Alfredo Simon entered the ballgame and recorded an out. Manny Parra then entered the game and pitched out of the inning only allowing a run, which was charged to Cingrani. J.J. Hoover and Aroldis Chapman pitched the eighth and ninth respectively and recorded two strikeouts a piece. On the night, Reds pitching struck out 13 Cardinals.
Mike Leake will be on the mound in this afternoons rubber match. He will take on Lance Lynn. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 ET.
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