Reds
Pirates
5 - 4 Final
  for this game

Despite controversy, Gonzalez, Reds rally past Pirates

Aug 31, 2007 - 4:24 AM By Chris Adamski PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Controversial calls and wild plays all over the field could not deter Alex Gonzalez and the Cincinnati Reds.

Gonzalez scored the winning run from first on a bloop single by Ken Griffey Jr. in the ninth inning as the Cincinnati Reds won a wild and bizarre 5-4 contest against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night.

Griffey and Brandon Phillips each had three hits for Cincinnati, which salvaged a split of the four-game series. Phillips also made a great throw from short right field to cut down the potential tying run at home plate in the bottom half, preserving the victory.

"I think this is the best (play) of my career," Phillips said. "If you think about it, game on the line, making a good throw to home plate. ... There's nothing sweeter to win the game. It can't get better than that obviously."

"That was a great way to win a game," Reds interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "A tough way to lose one, too."

The Reds, who won for the eighth time in their past 10 games, had two runs taken away on an odd and rare appeal call earlier in the contest, but had any controversy rendered moot when they rallied.

With two outs in the ninth inning and the scored tied at 4-4, Gonzalez, who had just reached base on a single, scored when Griffey sliced a pop down the left field line off of Matt Capps (4-6). With shortstop Cesar Izturis, third baseman Jose Bautista and left fielder Jason Bay converging, the ball dropped between Izturis and Bautista.

Gonzalez, running on the pitch, came all the way around to just beat a tag by catcher Ronny Paulino to make it 5-4.

Jared Burton (4-1), the fourth of Cincinnati's five pitchers, earned the win by hurling 1 1/3 innings of relief.

Closer David Weathers struggled before nailing down his 29th save. He retired the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth before Josh Phelps, pinch hitting for Capps, doubled into left-center field. Nate McLouth then hit a short pop over the right side of the infield that fell into play.

However Phillips, hustling trying to make the catch, got to the ball, spun and made a strong-armed throw on a line to catcher Javier Valentin, who applied the tag to a sliding Phelps to end the game as Phelps was trying to dislodge the ball.

"I saw the ball bounce and Brandon pick it up," Weathers said. "I looked over and saw (Pirates third base coach Jeff Cox) waving Phelps, and I'm like, 'A decent throw, he's out.' He was barely rounding third when Brandon had the ball and made a great throw. ... I've been in the minors and major leagues, and I lost a bunch of games on those balls right there, but I've never been saved by one."

"It was an amazing way to end a game like that," Valentin said. "Real amazing."

Bautista's two-run homer in the seventh had given the Pirates a 4-3 lead, but Cincinnati tied it in the eighth on an Edwin Encarnacion double that drove in Valentin.

The Pirates have lost two in a row after a stretch in which they had won six of seven.

"This was the best and the most exciting game of the year," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. "The way the game ended, I don't know if you'll ever see that play get made like that again."

After Pittsburgh scored the game's first run when Adam LaRoche singled in Freddy Sanchez in the bottom of the first, the Reds took a 2-1 lead in the fourth - or so they thought. Ultimately, even though both runs were on the scoreboard, neither would count.

With the bases loaded and two outs, Encarnacion singled to left. Griffey, who was on third, crossed home easily before Adam Dunn beat the throw in from left fielder Bay as well.

But after play had settled, Pirates starter Matt Morris appealed to third base umpire Chris Guccione that Dunn did not touch third. Morris threw to third baseman Bautista, who stepped on third and Guccione ruled Dunn out.

Initially, the scoreboard showed that was the third out of the inning and the Reds had merely tied the game.

However, between innings, Mackanin came out to discuss the play with crew chief Wally Bell. Bell informed Mackanin that neither run would count because the play at third was a force play, negating Griffey's run as well.

"I had thought since there was an intervening play before the appeal, a run had scored," Mackanin said. "(Bell) said no, because it was a force out, it didn't apply. That hurt, but the guys battled back."

"To get some runs taken off the board, that's a rare occasion," Morris said. "That helped us tremendously."

After Sanchez doubled in McLouth with two outs in the fifth to extend the Pirates' lead to 2-0, the Reds got their first runs - and they counted this time - in the sixth.

Griffey scored when Valentin grounded into a double play with the bases loaded and nobody out. Phillips, who was on third after the double play, scored on a wild pitch to knot the game at 2-2.

Later in the inning, pinch hitter Jorge Cantu gave the Reds the lead when he drove in Scott Hatteberg with a single to right.

That ended the night for Morris. In his sixth start with the Pirates since being acquired from San Francisco on July 31, the 10-year veteran was charged with three runs on nine hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings, striking out four.

Reds starter Matt Belisle, who entered the game 3-0 this season against the Pirates, allowed two runs on seven hits with four strikeouts in five innings.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CINCINNATI 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 1 5 14 1
    PITTSBURGH 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 4 11 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CIN - MATT BELISLE, GARY MAJEWSKI (6TH), BILL BRAY (7TH), JARED
    BURTON (7TH), DAVID WEATHERS (9TH) AND JAVIER VALENTIN
    PIT - MATT MORRIS, JOHN GRABOW (6TH), DAMASO

    Aug 30 10:14 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KEN GRIFFEY JR SCORED ALEX GONZALEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K GRIFFEY JR ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 5
    PITTSBURGH 4 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: B PHILLIPS (.289, 2-FOR-4)

    Reds vs. PiratesAug 30 10:00 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 25 roots (Close Finish)

    Reds vs. PiratesAug 30 10:00 PM
  • 60
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 60 roots (Close Finish)

    Reds vs. PiratesAug 30 9:45 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY EDWIN ENCARNACION SCORED JAVIER VALENTIN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, 0 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 4
    PITTSBURGH 4 END TOP, 8TH

    Reds vs. PiratesAug 30 9:37 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JOSE BAUTISTA (13) TO LEFT CENTER WITH
    2 OUT IN THE 7TH OFF JARED BURTON SCORED MATT KATA.
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 3, PITTSBURGH 4
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: F SANCHEZ (.314, 2-FOR-2, HBP, RBI)

    Reds vs. PiratesAug 30 9:20 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JORGE CANTU SCORED SCOTT HATTEBERG.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, J CANTU ON FIRST, E ENCARNACION ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 3
    PITTSBURGH 2 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: J HAMILTON (.281, 0-FOR-3)

    Reds vs. PiratesAug 30 8:52 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY MATT MORRIS ALLOWED BRANDON PHILLIPS TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 2
    PITTSBURGH 2 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: S HATTEBERG (.306, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Reds vs. PiratesAug 30 8:46 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    JAVIER VALENTIN HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING KEN GRIFFEY
    JR.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B PHILLIPS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 1
    PITTSBURGH 2 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: S HATTEBERG (.306, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Reds vs. PiratesAug 30 8:45 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY FREDDY SANCHEZ SCORED NATE MCLOUTH.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, F SANCHEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 0
    PITTSBURGH 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: A LAROCHE (.266, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Reds vs. PiratesAug 30 8:35 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CINCINNATI 0 0 0 0 0 5 1
    PITTSBURGH 1 0 0 0 1 5 0 (TOP 5)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CIN - MATT BELISLE
    PIT - MATT MORRIS

    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: M BELISLE (.077, 0-FOR-1)
    J HAMILTON (.282, 0-FOR-2)
    A GONZALEZ (.270, 1-FOR-2)

    Reds vs. PiratesAug 30 8:18 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY EDWIN ENCARNACION SCORED KEN GRIFFEY JR AND ADAM
    DUNN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, E ENCARNACION ON FIRST, S HATTEBERG ON
    SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 2
    PITTSBURGH 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: M BELISLE (.077, 0-FOR-1)

    Reds vs. PiratesAug 30 8:03 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ADAM LAROCHE SCORED FREDDY SANCHEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A LAROCHE ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 0
    PITTSBURGH 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: X NADY (.291, 17 HR, 65 RBI)

    Reds vs. PiratesAug 30 7:18 PM