After moving down two spots in the lineup, Joey Votto made the best of his new hitting slot with a walk-off homer off Boone Logan in the ninth inning at Great American Ballpark to deliver a 4-3 Reds' victory over Colorado on Friday.
Not only did the Reds (16-18) claim the victory to improve to 9-7 at home, but Johnny Cueto and Jonathan Broxton (1-0) managed to keep Nolan Arenado out of the hit column snapping his streak at 28 games. Arenado's run was the longest in Rockies history breaking the record of 27 games set by Michael Cuddyer last season.
Cueto kept a lot of runners of base over his eight innings, turning in another quality start with eight strikeouts and allowed just two runs on five hits and one walk. He also got some early offensive help from a Brandon Phillips sac fly in the first inning, then a Todd Frazier homer to start the second inning.
The Rockies (22-16) broke into the scoring column in the fourth inning when Troy Tulowitzki homered to start the inning. Colorado added another run on a Charlie Blackmon RBI single to tie the game at two in the fifth inning. Jhoulys Chacin held Cincinnati to just one hit after the Frazier homer run before giving way to Adam Ottavino in the seventh.
Ottavino carried the torch of hitless baseball into the eighth inning when Logan (1-1) took over. He was greeted by a pinch-hit double off the bat of Billy Hamilton. The speedy Hamilton advanced around the bases on a sac bunt by Skip Schumaker and then a sacrifice fly by Brayan Pena to give the Reds a 3-2 lead.
Broxton came on for his sixth save of the season and also entered the game having yet to allow a run this season. In his final at bat of the game, Arenado did not pick up a hit, but did draw a key walk that allowed him to score on a double by Justin Mourneau. Broxton recovered by retiring the next two hitters to send it to the ninth.
In the final frame, Logan fell behind in the count to Votto and on a 3-0 pitch, Votto was given the green light to swing away. The result was a fastball down the middle and Votto did not miss, sending it over the center field wall to secure the victory for Broxton and the Reds.
The Reds could make a roster move over the weekend when they bring Aroldis Chapman off the disabled list. Despite two rough outings in Louisville, Cincinnati could activate the hard throwing lefty to add some firepower to a bullpen that ranks 26th in all of baseball with a 4.46 ERA.
The two teams continue their three game series Saturday, which is also Homer Bailey dual bobblehead night to celebrate his two career no-hitters. Bailey will not pitch until Sunday, but will have a front row seat to watch Alfredo Simon (4-1, 1.99 ERA take on Jordan Lyles (4-0, 2.62 ERA) who is also off to a good start. Simon, who just turned 33 on Thursday, has not allowed more than three runs in a game and has gone at least six innings to earn him a tie for fourth in quality starts (Cueto added his MLB best eighth QS on Friday).