Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto throws against the Miami Marlins in the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/David Kohl)
CINCINNATI (AP) — Devin Mesoraco hit his third grand slam of the season and drove in six runs, and the Cincinnati Reds salvaged the finale of a three-game series against the Miami Marlins with a 7-2 win on Sunday.
Brad Hand walked Todd Frazier with the bases loaded in the fifth to break a 2-all tie. Mesoraco followed with his second homer of the game and 20th of the season, a 371-foot drive into the left-field seats.
Mesoraco leads all major league catchers in home runs and the National League in grand slams. He is 6 for 7 (.857) with the bases loaded and is the sixth player in Reds’ history to hit three slams in one season — the first since Chris Sabo in 1993.
The fifth-inning outburst gave Johnny Cueto (14-6) some breathing room. In eight innings, he allowed five hits — two homers — with two walks and nine strikeouts. He improved to 6-0 in his last seven starts.
Hand (2-4) allowed five hits and seven runs with three walks — all of them in the fifth — and two strikeouts.
Giancarlo Stanton, the NL’s home run and RBI leader, lined his 29th homer with two outs in the first for a 1-0 Miami lead.
Right-fielder Jay Bruce made a leaping catch in the eighth to rob Stanton of a second homer.
Mesoraco, who drove in a career-high six runs, gave the Reds a 2-1 lead in the first with his first in 10 games since July 30, a 390-foot blast that bounced off the roof of the Cincinnati bullpen in left-center with Bruce on first and two outs.
Casey McGehee tied the game with his third homer of the year, a 383-foot shot to left with one out in the fourth.
Marlins: The Marlins, who took a series from St. Louis in early July for the first time since 2009, will try to make it two straight over the Cardinals. Their three-game set in Miami begins Monday with right-hander Tom Koehler taking the mound.
Reds: Right-hander Mat Latos tries to improve his career interleague record to 10-3 in 18 starts on Tuesday in the opener of a two-game home series against Boston.
Marlins: Slumping catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was hitting .184 (9 for 49) in his previous 17 games, got Sunday off.
Reds: Brayan Pena, Cueto’s usual catcher, didn’t start because of a tight left hamstring that forced him out of Friday’s game after two innings and limited him to a pinch-hit appearance on Saturday.