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Reds avoid sweep thanks to big day by Mesoraco

Devin Mesoraco went deep twice for home runs number 19 and 20.
Devin Mesoraco went deep twice for home runs number 19 and 20.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Devin Mesoraco launched two homers including a grand slam to plate six of the Reds seven runs on Sunday against the Miami Marlins at Great American Ballpark to secure a 7-2 victory.

The Reds (60-58) offense had been held in check through the first two games in the series scoring just four runs, but Mesoraco was all over Brad Hand (2-4) in two of the three at bats he faced the Marlins (57-60) pitcher. That was enough for Johnny Cueto (14-6) who went eight innings while allowing two solo homers, but had nine strikeouts.

Cueto got off to a rough start in the first when Giancarlo Stanton tagged his second home run of the series and his fourth home run off Reds pitching this season to give Miami a 1-0 lead. That lead quickly vanished when Jay Bruce singled and then two batters later Mesoraco hit the first of his two home runs for a 2-1 lead.

The Marlins tied the game in the fourth when Casey McGehee hit a solo homer of his own. That was also short lived as the Reds put together a big inning in the fifth, started by a Ramon Santiago walk and then a Zack Cozart single. Cueto moved the runners over on a sac bunt, but hand got Kristopher Negron to hit a fly ball to center that was not deep enough to score the runner. Bruce drew a two out walk to load the bases and then Hand walked Todd Frazier to score the go ahead run. Mesoraco then drove Hand from the game with a grand slam to give the Reds a 7-2 lead.

Miami tried to come back with back-to-back singles from Stanton and McGehee, but Cueto settled in and struck out Garrett Jones and Marcell Ozuna to end the threat. An error put runners on the corners in the sixth, but Sam Dyson was able to strike out Negron to end the inning. The Marlins tried to take advantage of a two out error that put a runner at second, but Cueto got Donovan Solano to fly out and end the inning.

That's as close as the Marlins would get to scoring again as J.J. Hoover worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth to retire the side and secure the victory. The Reds will take a day off before welcoming the Boston Red Sox (51-65) for a brief two game set starting Tuesday. Boston took the previous two meetings in the season series back in May at Fenway Park. Cincinnati will see a familiar face in Joe Kelly (2-2, 3.86 ERA) who was traded alongside Allen Craig for John Lackey. Kelly will be opposed by Mat Latos (4-3, 3.12 ERA) who has gone at least seven innings in his last two outings (both wins).