|Reds drop series finale to Pirates, 3-2|
|Sunday, July 21, 2013 11:49 PM|
CINCINNATI — Since he threw his second no-hitter, Homer Bailey hasn’t been a winner. His latest loss wasn’t hard to figure.
One infield single won’t get anyone very far.
Jeff Locke allowed only an infield hit through six innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat Bailey to salvage the final game of their series with the Cincinnati Reds, 3-2 on Sunday.
Second-place Pittsburgh left town with a 3-game cushion over the NL Central-rival Reds, who won the first two games of the series.
Bailey (5-9) struck out a career-high 12 but fell to 0-3 since his no-hitter against San Francisco at Great American Ball Park this month. Garrett Jones hit his second homer in two games and the Pirates added a pair of runs in the seventh on hits that were barely out of the reach of second baseman Brandon Phillips.
“Homer was dealing,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “That’s why I left him out there. He was still throwing hard in the seventh. It’s kind of rough when you’re throwing the ball like that and you can’t get any hits.”
The Pirates thought Bailey was even better than when he no-hit them last season at PNC Park.
“That was the best I’ve ever seen Bailey,” Jones said. “His velocity was up, his cutter was nasty and he was hitting his spots well.”
The Pirates managed to get a couple of hits in the seventh that made the difference.
“That was probably the most frustrating thing,” Bailey said. “I made some good pitches. It just didn’t work out. The game of inches got to me.”
Locke (9-2) and the majors’ second-stingiest bullpen limited the Reds to three singles but issued seven walks and let a run score on a wild pitch. Jason Grilli worked the ninth for his 30th save in 31 chances. His only blown save came in Cincinnati on June 19.
Locke had to miss his last scheduled start and couldn’t pitch in the All-Star game because of a sore back. There were no problems when he got back on the mound.
The Ohio River rivals don’t meet again until September, when they play each other six times in the last nine games. Both hope they have a lot at stake when they get back together — the Reds trying for a second straight division title, the Pirates trying to end their 20-year streak of losing records and make the playoffs for the first time since 1992.
Locke’s performance was encouraging for the Pirates, who have stayed in contention despite injuries in the rotation. Shin-Soo Choo’s infield single in the first inning extended his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games.
Locke walked a pair and threw a wild pitch that let in a run in the fifth inning. The left-hander lowered his ERA to 2.11.
The Reds got another run in the eighth when Joey Votto grounded into a double play with the bases loaded against Mark Melancon, ending the reliever’s streak of 15 scoreless innings.
Pittsburgh scored twice in the seventh on Jordy Mercer’s single and Jose Tabata’s pinch-hit single off Bailey, who threw 121 pitches.
NOTES: The Pirates continue their 10-game trip with the first of four games in Washington. The Reds begin an 11-game trip to San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. They’re in a stretch of playing 18 of 21 on the road. … The Reds plan to call up RHP Greg Reynolds from Triple-A Louisville to start one of their doubleheader games in San Francisco on Tuesday. Reynolds, a California native who played at Stanford, started 16 games for Colorado in 2008 and 2011.
DODGERS 9, NATIONALS 2
WASHINGTON — Matt Kemp returned to the lineup with a home run and a double in the same inning Sunday and the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a sweep of the Washington Nationals with a 9-2 win that kept them a half-game behind first-place Arizona in the NL West.
Activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game, Kemp led off the second with a homer and then doubled home Andre Ethier in a 7-run inning against Jordan Zimmermann (12-5), quickly turning a much-anticipated matchup of All-Star aces into a rout.
Clayton Kershaw (9-6) allowed only two hits — solo homers by Jayson Werth — over seven innings with nine strikeouts and no walks, putting his major league-best ERA at 2.01.
This game marked the first time all season that Kemp, Hanley Ramirez and Carl Crawford were all in the lineup together. But it might be a few days before it happens again because Kemp hurt his left ankle sliding into home plate on a force play in the ninth.0.
METS 5, PHILLIES 0
NEW YORK — Matt Harvey struck out 10 in seven overpowering innings and David Wright and Juan Lagares each hit a home run upheld by video review to lead New York over Philadelphia.
Marlon Byrd followed Wright’s first-inning homer off the dark metal railing atop the new left-field wall with a no-doubter into the second deck against Cliff Lee (10-4) for the Mets’ first back-to-back homers of the season.
Lagares’ drive that also struck the railing in left was a 3-run shot, giving New York a 5-0 lead against the 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner. Lagares made a running catch in center field with Delmon Young on third base in the seventh to help preserve the shutout.
In his first outing since starting the All-Star game on his home mound, Harvey (8-2) allowed three hits in his 30th career start.
CARDINALS 3, PADRES 2
ST. LOUIS — Adam Wainwright worked eight sharp innings for his National League-leading 13th win and Allen Craig ended the game with a leaping catch at the left-field wall as St. Louis beat San Diego.
Craig has 12 hits and six RBIs during a 7-game hitting streak for the Cardinals. The St. Louis defense turned three double plays behind Wainwright (13-5), who allowed two runs with seven strikeouts and two walks.
Yonder Alonso singled three times with an RBI for the Padres. Eric Stults (8-8) allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings.
Craig’s tough catch preserved Edward Mujica’s 28th save in 30 chances and robbed pinch-hitter Jedd Gyorko of at least an extra-base hit that would have put the Padres.
DIAMONDBACKS 3, GIANTS 1
SAN FRANCISCO — Paul Goldschmidt hit a sacrifice fly and a double against All-Star Madison Bumgarner, Cody Ross added a late 2-run single and first-place Arizona held off a late rally by San Francisco to avoid a 3-game sweep.
The Diamondbacks snapped a 3-game skid with their first victory of the second half.
Randall Delgado (2-3) won in his first career start at AT&T Park and Goldschmidt’s first-inning sac fly got things going against the World Series champions. Arizona threw out Buster Posey at the plate in the sixth.
The Diamondbacks did just enough against Bumgarner (10-6) in his first outing after the All-Star break.
Ross singled in the eighth as Arizona won for just the fourth time in 16 road games.
Brad Ziegler finished a crazy ninth that featured two errors for his fourth save. The Giants scored on second baseman Aaron Hill’s wild throw past first.
BREWERS 1, MARLINS 0, 13 INNINGS
MILWAUKEE — Caleb Gindl hit his first career home run in the bottom of the 13th inning and Milwaukee shut out punchless Miami for the third consecutive game.
Miami has gone a club-record 37 innings without a run, the longest drought by a major-league team in 28 years. The Houston Astros were held scoreless for 42 consecutive innings in July 1985, according to STATS.
This one was the longest scoreless game in the majors since Boston won 1-0 in 16 innings at Tampa Bay on July 17, 2011.
John Axford (4-3) pitched two innings for the win and helped the Milwaukee pitching staff set a franchise record with 35 scoreless innings.
Gindl connected off Ryan Webb (1-4) after a pitching duel between Miami’s Henderson Alvarez and Milwaukee’s Wily Peralta.
ROCKIES 4, CUBS 3
DENVER — Tyler Chatwood pitched six solid innings, Nolan Arenado hit a go-ahead single and Colorado beat Chicago to win the 3-game series.
Chatwood (6-3) allowed seven hits and two runs — one earned. Rex Brothers allowed a run in the ninth before earning his fifth save.
Starlin Castro had four hits for the Cubs, matching a career high, and Anthony Rizzo homered.
Edwin Jackson (6-11) settled down after a rough start to go seven innings.