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Devin Mesoraco’s Multi-Homer Night Helps Mike Leake and Cincinnati Reds Hang on to 6-4 Win Over the Arizona Diamondbacks

May 31st, 2014 at 10:16 AM
By Cody Dalga

As batting practice kicked off, many of the Cincinnati Reds players were seen talking to ex-Red Bronson Arroyo. Just a few hours later many of those players would be facing off against him but it didn't seem to phase them as Devin Mesoraco's two home runs, including a grand slam, was enough to take down Arroyo and the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-4 at Chase Field in Phoenix. 

'Reds v Astros 9.21.11' photo (c) 2011, Shawna Pairan - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

"We're looking for steps in the right direction. We don't have to build Rome in a day," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "But we need to make constant improvements. We have to continue to battle and put more balls in play and find ways to scratch out hits."

Arizona took a quick lead in the first inning. After A.J. Pollock singled to lead off the game, he stole second base. He advanced to third on a ground out and Paul Goldschmidt brought him home with a one-out ground out. 

Cincinnati looked strong in the second. They led off the inning with three consecutive singles by Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, and Roger Bernadina. That's when Mesoraco took over and crushed the first pitch he saw from Arroyo, a 69 MPH curveball, into the left field seats to give the Reds a 4-1 lead. 

"I think going into the game, I was aware that he likes to flip that easy breaking ball in there for a first-pitch strike, especially in situations where he really needs a strike," Mesoraco said. "I wouldn't say I was looking for it but I went up there with an idea that may be coming."

Reds starter Mike Leake retired the second in order before getting nicked up in the third. After retiring the first two batters, Pollock doubled to left. Gerardo Parra then singled up the middle to score Pollock and cut the lead to two. Goldschmidt then reached on an error which allowed Parra to score bringing the score to 4-3.
 
Arroyo and Leake settled in and allowed just one hit combined in the next two innings. Cincinnati was able to extend the lead in the sixth when Bernadina doubled to center allowing Frazier to score. 
 
The Diamondbacks threatened to bring the game even in the bottom half of the sixth. With runners on first and second, Aaron Hill singled home a run and put runners on the corners. After a strikeout, Ender Inciarte hit a sharp grounder that looked as if it would make its way into right field before Brandon Phillips made an outstanding play to record the out. A challenge was made but the play stood and the Reds kept the lead. 

"A huge play there by Brandon and Leaker to get that final out of the sixth. I don't want to say a game-saver but a game-changer for sure," Price said.

After two more scoreless innings, Mesoraco struck again with a solo home run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning to give the Reds a two run lead. Aroldis Chapman entered the game in the bottom half of the inning and closed the door to and give Cincinnati the win. 

"It was big," Price said of the victory. "There were a lot of things that went well."

Prior to first pitch, there were a lot of questions regarding the lineup Price provided. Bernadina, who has played in over 1,200 professional games and not a single one at first base, was filled in at first because of his prior success against Arroyo. He ended up with two hits.
Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Baseball, Bryan Price, Cincinnati, Cincinnati Reds, Devin Mesoraco, Jay Bruce, Mike Leake, MLB, Roger Bernadina, todd frazier

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