Cincinnati Reds starting catcher Devin Mesoraco was reportedly suppose to have an off day Sunday afternoon when the Reds attempted to salvage at least one win in the three-game series. Instead, the the 26-year old launched two home runs including a grand slam to go along with his six runs batted in the 7-2 win over the Marlins.
Reds off-season acquisition Brayan Pena was original starter, however with his injury, Mesoraco was forced to start.
"I figured I would be starting with Brayan injured and the off-day Monday," Mesoraco said. "We're going to need him healthy pretty quick."
After starting pitch Johnny Cueto allowed a first inning home run to Giancarlo Stanton, Mesoraco wanted in on the action as well. With Jay Bruce aboard thanks to a one-out single, Mesoraco launched his 19th homerun of the year to center field to put the Reds ahead 2-1.
Cueto and Marlins starter Brad Hand settled down for the next few innings. A solo home run by Casey McGehee in the fourth knotted the game at two. But the Reds took over an inning later.
Hand walked Ramon Santiago to lead off the fifth. He was followed by Zack Cozart who singled, and Cueto laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance both runners. After a fly out, Bruce singled again to load the bases. With no where to go, Todd Frazier walked to bring in a run and put the Reds ahead 3-2 with Mesoraco due up.
"I picked his brain a little," Mesoraco said of Johnny Bench, whom he was able to talk to a day earlier during the Reds Hall of Fame weekend. "He suggested I relax my hands a bit more."
Maybe relaxing his hands worked because on the fourth pitch of the at-bat, Mesoraco launched his third grand slam on the year, tying Chris Sabo for most grand slams by a Red in a single season. "I'm just up there trying to stay calm, get the pitch I'm looking for and don't miss it," Mesoraco said.
"I'm just up there trying to stay calm, get the pitch I'm looking for and don't miss it," Mesoraco said.
Cueto, who was given a five run lead, didn't let it slip away. He ended his outing after eight innings giving up two earned runs on five hits striking out nine. He picked up his 14th win of the season.
The win kept the Marlins from sweeping the Reds at home, and with a Milwaukee Brewers loss, put the Reds five games back of first place. They will have a day off on Monday before hosting the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday.
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