Keppinger’s double sends Reds to 4-3 win in 11
CINCINNATI (AP)—The first eight times that Jake Peavy pitched against Cincinnati, the San Diego Padres ended the game with a celebration. An against-the-odds grounder and a check-swing single ended the trend.
Jeff Keppinger hit a run-scoring double with one out in the 11th inning Tuesday night, sending the Reds to a 4-3 victory that finally put a dent in Peavy’s perfect career against Cincinnati.
“I felt real good all night and made pitches all night,” said Peavy, who gave up three runs in a wild sixth inning. “We get out of that inning, and we go home happy.”
All the smiles were on Cincinnati’s side for the first time.
Jay Bruce started the winning rally with a one-out single off right-hander Bryan Corey (1-3), who gave up Aaron Miles’ game-ending grand slam in his last appearance Sunday in St. Louis. Keppinger worked the count full before doubling into the left-field corner for Cincinnati’s 10th walkoff win, most in the majors.
Keppinger knew that if he made another out, he’d drop to 0-for-6 on the night.
“It definitely crossed my mind,” Keppinger said. “I knew he didn’t want to walk me. I knew he would throw a strike, because he didn’t want to put the winning run in scoring position. I figured it would be an off-speed pitch.”
Gary Majewski (1-0) retired the three batters he faced in the 11th, getting the victory in a game full of empty swings. The Padres struck out 18 times, the Reds 13.
Before the game, the Padres traded left-hander Randy Wolf to the Houston Astros for a minor leaguer, another reminder of how far San Diego has fallen from its near-miss with the playoffs last season. The Padres won 89 games last year before losing a one-game playoff with Colorado for the NL wild-card berth.
Peavy, the reigning Cy Young winner, is 6-0 in nine career starts against the Reds with a 2.31 ERA, but now there’s a blemish. San Diego had won the previous eight games he started against Cincinnati, underscoring his dominance of the Reds.
“I believe it,” said Keppinger, who was 0-for-3 against Peavy. “That guy’s good at keeping hitters off-balance and moving it in and out. There’s not too many of them in the game.”
This time, the Reds wiggled away with a fortune-filled inning.
Down 3-0, the Reds loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth on a single and two walks. Paul Bako, in a 5-for-48 slump, hit a grounder that bounced in the dirt in front of home plate and found its way through the middle of the infield for a two-run single.
To put it in perspective: Bako struck out in his other four at-bats.
There was more.
Pinch-hitter Joey Votto checked his swing and lined an opposite-field single that tied it at 3. He was smiling broadly at his good fortune when he reached first base.
“That was maddening, seeing a three-hopper that just makes it up the middle,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “Then Votto just basically stuck his bat out and hit it to the left side.”
Peavy had to settle for no-decision because of those two swings.
“That’s frustrating,” Peavy said. “He (Bako) didn’t crush it. And it’s not my night when the next guy checks his swing and hits it.”
The Padres scored three times in the third off the 22-year-old Cueto, who settled down and wound up striking out 10. Brian Giles hit a two-run double in one of his favorite ballparks—he’s a .329 career hitter at Great American— and scored on a single by Gonzalez.
Cueto gave up four hits, but needed a career-high 120 pitches to get through six innings.
Bruce had two of Cincinnati’s seven hits off Peavy, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games.
It was the second time the teams played an extra-inning game this season. The Padres won 12-9 in 18 innings on May 25 in San Diego. … Pete Rose was in the crowd watching from a seat behind home plate. The banished career hits king occasionally attends games in his hometown. … Reds OF Ryan Freel will have surgery on Wednesday to repair a torn tendon at the bottom of his right hamstring. … Reds RHP Aaron Harang played catch before the game without a problem. He is on the DL with a strained right forearm. … Reds RHP Josh Fogg was hit in the mouth by Votto’s batted ball during pregame batting practice. He got 30 stitches for a gash in his upper lip. He is scheduled to start Friday against Colorado.