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(Sunday, May 13th)
Final Score: Cincinnati 9, Washington 6
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - A heavy downpour pounded Great American Ball Park on Sunday, delaying the start of the finale of a three-game set between the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals by 3 hours and 36 minutes.
The lengthy delay, however, didn't seem to bother Joey Votto.
Votto hit three home runs, including the game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Reds to a 9-6 win over the Nationals.
The 2010 National League MVP registered four hits, drove in six and scored four runs for the Reds, who salvaged a game in the set after dropping the first two.
"Big day," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "I mean, that's as good a day as you'll see outside of Josh Hamilton in Texas."
Sean Marshall (1-2) tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up the win.
Sunday marked the seventh and final game between the teams this season, so it was prudent to get the game in.
The Nationals held a 6-5 lead when Henry Rodriguez (1-3) took the hill in the bottom of the ninth. Ryan Hanigan led off with a single and pinch runner Devin Mesoraco moved to second on Wilson Valdez's sacrifice bunt.
Miguel Cairo popped out in foul territory for the second out, but Drew Stubbs and Chris Heisey walked to bring up Votto with the bags full.
Votto drilled a belt-high 2-2 fastball from Rodriguez onto the grassy knoll in straightaway center field, sending the remaining rain-soaked fans home with a well-deserved memory after an exhausting seven plus-hour day at the yard.
Before Sunday, Votto hadn't homered since April 30 and had only two round- trippers on the year coming in.
Earlier, Votto drilled an opposite-field solo shot over the wall in left to put the Reds on the board in the first inning.
The Nationals responded with a run apiece in the second and third innings.
Jesus Flores' sacrifice fly tied the game in the second and back-to-back doubles to start the third by Ian Desmond and Roger Bernadina made it 2-1 in favor of Washington.
Cincinnati, though, tied the game in the fourth as Votto belted a solo shot to straightaway center.
The Nationals plated a pair of two-out runs in the fifth. Adam LaRoche doubled to left, Bryce Harper reached on an infield single and Danny Espinosa brought them both home after lacing a double down the right field line, giving Washington a 4-2 advantage.
In the home half of the inning, Mike Costanzo lifted a sacrifice fly to left, cutting the deficit to 4-3.
Chad Tracy slapped an RBI single in the seventh inning and LaRoche's run- scoring base hit in the eighth gave Washington a 6-3 lead.
With two runners in scoring position and two away in the bottom of the eighth, it appeared that Sean Burnett escaped the threat after Jay Bruce skied a fly ball to right field. But Harper lost the ball, allowing two runners to score and trimming to margin to 6-5.
"It was a tough sky," said Harper. "In a hazy sky like that it's pretty tough (to see the ball)."
This is Votto's second career three-homer game...Washington tallied 16 hits...Edwin Jackson allowed three runs on five hits in five frames for Washington, which got two hits apiece from Desmond, Bernadina, LaRoche, Harper, Espinosa, Rick Ankiel and Flores...Bronson Arroyo surrendered four runs on 11 hits and a walk in five innings for the Reds.
05/13 23:36:27 ET
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