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Cincinnati Reds Rally Late to Take Down Pittsburgh Pirates, Sit a Game and a Half Games Out of First

July 12th, 2014 at 5:11 PM
By Cody Dalga

Battered and bruised, the Cincinnati Reds somehow found a way to win a game Saturday night, a game in which they were at one point trailing 5-1 with no hope in sight. A three-run eighth inning, which was finalized by a Brayan Pena go-ahead RBI single, helped the Reds pull ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 before Aroldis Chapman closed the door for his 20th save. 

"That's why the Reds got me, and it's one of those things that I really feel like every time that I've got the opportunity to do something to help my team win, I'm prepared mentally and physically for it," Pena said. "And tonight, it was a very exciting 'W' for us, because it was totally a team effort."

After losing Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips in the span of a week, the last thing they wanted to see was another player go down. Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened. Starter Mat Latos left after just five innings with an issue with his back. 

"After I got the first batter of the third inning," Latos said, "I was just standing on the mound and I got in my ready position like I do to receive the sign, and it just felt like as if Zack Cozart or Santiago came up behind me and stabbed me in my lower back. It was real tight."

The Pirates were able to four off the starter, all in the fourth. Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez both launched home runs to give the Pirates an early 4-1 lead. 
 
The Reds were able to plate a run in the first. Billy Hamilton started the game with a acrobatic play in which his bunt to first base was fielded cleanly but the speedster was able to stop on a dime and avoid the tag before diving safe into first base. Cozart followed him up with a double which easily scored Hamilton from first for an early 1-0 lead.
 
The offense stayed quiet for a majority of the game. It wasn't until the bottom half of the seventh inning did the bats come alive. Ryan Ludwick started the inning by reaching on an error and advancing to third on a groundout. Ramon Santiago doubled him home and he later scored on a Hamilton ground out. The next inning, Devin Mesoraco crushed his 16th home run of the year, a solo shot to the upper deck in left field. He was followed later by a RBI single by Santiago before Pena's go-ahead single. 
"There's just never been a theme of, 'We're not supposed to win,'" Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We hung in there for two months, we've played great baseball for probably 40, 45 straight games, and I just think everybody is completely in."
Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Baseball, Billy Hamilton, brandon phillips, Brayan Pena, Bryan Price, Cincinnati, Cincinnati Reds, Devin Mesoraco, Joey Votto, Mat Latos, MLB, Ramon Santiago, Ryan Ludwick

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