It was a long, very frustrating series for the Cincinnati Reds, but in the end, they came away with a good taste in their mouths after Joey Votto hit a walk-off, grandslam in the bottom of the 9th to complete the Reds’ comeback and win 9-5 over the Washington Nationals.
Joey Votto was THE story for the Cincinnati Reds in the third and last game of the series with the Nationals at GABP on Sunday. He went 4 for 5 at the plate, hit three homeruns, drove in 6 runs and upped his batting average to .319. This is the Votto that the Cincinnati Reds paid the $225 million extension for.
Votto opened the scoring for the Reds in the first with a solo shot to put them up 1-0. The Nationals came back to take the lead 2-1 with 1 in the 2nd and 1 in the 3rd. Votto tied the score with his second homer in the 4th, 2-2, only to see the Nationals take the lead again in the top of the 5th, 4-2. The Reds cut the lead to 4-3 when recently called up Mike Costanzo, who made his MLB debut, lifted a sacrifice in the bottom half of the inning. The Nationals came right back and added 1 run in 7th and 1 in the 8th to take a 6-3 lead. The Cincinnati Reds didn’t quit when they pushed across 2 in the bottom of the 8th, to trail 6-5 going into the 9th that set up the dramatic game winner.
The Nationals brought in their flamethrowing closer, Henry Rodriguez, who promptly loaded the bases by giving up a hit and two base on balls.
With the bases loaded, Votto, the Cincinnati Reds’ first baseman, sent a 97 mph fastball, 2-2 pitch over the centerfield wall to clear the bases and give the Reds a win over the East leading Nationals. It was only the Reds’ second win against them in 6 tries this season against them.
Sean Marshall (1-2) picked up the win by working an interesting 9th, but keeping the Nationals from scoring again.
The Cincinnati Reds will get back on the road as the travel to Atlanta to play a pair against the Atlanta Braves starting on Monday. But for now, the Reds will savor this dramatic victory over a team that has a record over .500.