Votto powers Reds to dominant win over Pirates
Homer Bailey didn't need to be on his game to hand the Pittsburgh Pirates another loss.
Joey Votto went 4 for 5 and scored three runs, Bailey allowed two runs in six innings and the Cincinnati Reds continued the Pirates' losing ways with a 12-2 win Wednesday night.
"You can tell (Bailey) didn't have real good stuff when he was throwing more breaking balls and more changeups tonight than usual," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "His fastball velocity was a little down, but that's going to happen sometimes. That's part of the learning process; you've got to pitch when you don't have real good stuff, and that's what he did tonight."
Bailey was facing a team with the majors' worst offense. The Pirates are 3-22 in their past 25, having lost five in a row. They have allowed 33 runs the past three games and are averaging only 2.5 runs in their past 12 contests.
"This has been difficult for everybody," said Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen, who had two hits and scored a run. "It's kind of hard to keep a smile on your face when things like this happen. But the only thing you can do is just go out there and just shake it off and just get prepared for the next day. There's nothing else you can do about it. There's no point in moping; you've got to be here so you might as well do something to change it."
Since beating the Pirates at PNC Park Aug. 23, Bailey (6-5) is 4-1 with a 1.99 ERA - three of those victories coming against Pittsburgh. He allowed four hits and three walks Wednesday, meaning he has allowed only 12 baserunners and two runs in 13 innings.
"Sometimes you're going to have these games (when you're not at your best) this late in the season," Bailey said. "You're not going to feel great every single time. But it was a good test for me. Now I know that despite not having my best stuff, I can go out there and compete."
Brandon Phillips, Scott Rolen, Jay Bruce, Laynce Nix and Corky Miller each had two RBIs for the Reds, who have won seven of nine.
Votto had two doubles and two singles and is 7 for 9 during the series. He is hitting .458 in his past 13 games and is batting .314 with 22 home runs and 74 RBIs despite missing 31 games this season.
"It's great to see what type of player he is becoming and that he can be," said Phillips, who left the game after being hit in the left hand by a Virgil Vasquez pitch in the ninth inning but afterward said he was OK.
Paul Janish scored on a Phillips groundout in the first, and the Reds' three runs in the third came courtesy a Votto RBI ground-rule double, Phillips run-scoring single and a Rolen sacrifice fly.
Pittsburgh's Garrett Jones scored on a Brandon Moss sacrifice fly in the fourth. The Pirates got another run via sacrifice fly the following inning, this time with Jones driving in McCutchen.
The Pirates had only five hits.
"We're all frustrated," Pittsburgh manager John Russell said. "Obviously, when you don't score runs, it doesn't look like you're playing very good. That's one of the things that always looks bad - you don't score and the other team's scoring a lot, then they look a whole lot better than you do."
The Reds scored four in the fifth off of Kevin Hart on an RBI single by Rolen, a Bruce two-run single and a Nix RBI groundout.
Hart (4-8) was charged with eight runs on eight hits and three walks in 4 1-3 innings with two strikeouts. The Pirates are 1-8 when he starts, having lost the past six. Hart is 1-7 with a 6.93 ERA since joining Pittsburgh in a July 30 trade with the Chicago Cubs.
"I'm not really sure if I threw a slider for a strike or an offspeed pitch for a strike after the first inning - and even with the fastball, I didn't have command," Hart said. "It's going to be tough to get wins when that happens."
The Reds added one in the seventh and three in the ninth.
NOTES: Nix is 0 for 15 since coming off the disabled list Sept. 15 and remains hitless in his past 20 at bats overall. ... Phillips has hit safely in 12 of his past 13 games. ... McCutchen has a 10-game hitting streak, going 15 for 41 (.366) in that time. ... Jones has reached base safely in 32 of his past 34 contests. ... Pirates starters had pitched at least six innings in 10 of the previous 11 games.