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Choo, Reds hold on for wild win over D-backs

The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI - Reds third baseman Todd Frazier stepped to the plate in the eighth inning of Wednesday night's wild affair at Great American Ball Park and shared a brief moment of levity with Diamondbacks catcher Wil Nieves. "I just looked at him and said, ‘What a game'," said Frazier. "We both just laughed at each other."

Shin-Soo Choo went 4-for-5 with a double, homer and three RBI, and Devin Mesoraco drove in a pair of runs, as Cincinnati held on for a 10-7 victory over the Diamondbacks at Great American Ball Park.

"It was crazy," Frazier said. "I guess if you're the team that got the ‘W', you're happy at the end."

With the victory, Cincinnati (72-55) increased its lead to six games over Arizona (65-60) for the National League's second wild card position, while reducing its deficit to 2.5 games in the NL Central behind first-place Pittsburgh.

Adam Eaton, a native of nearby Springfield, Ohio who attended Miami (Ohio) University, hit a three-run home run off Leake in the fifth to jump-start a rally for Arizona. The Diamondbacks trailed 8-0 after four innings.

"We played our tails off," said D-backs manager Kirk Gibson of his offense. "They did a heck of a job."

The Diamondbacks rallied to within one run in the eighth, but RBI singles by Frazier and Brandon Phillips off right-hander Brad Ziegler in the eighth provided some breathing room for Cincinnati.

Frazier's eighth-inning hit epitomized the crazy evening on the banks of the Ohio River when he golfed an inside slider from Ziegler into left field driving in a key insurance run.

"I kind of jumped out of the way then swung," Frazier said. "It was one of those crazy swings. It's better to be lucky than good sometimes, I guess."

Arizona brought the tying run to the plate with nobody out in the ninth, but Reds closer Aroldis Chapman finished off his two scoreless innings to earn his 32nd save.

"We were bright and easy, up 8-0," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "A lot of stuff happened after that."

Cincinnati starter Mike Leake (11-5) retired the first 10 batters he faced, but finished with four earned runs allowed on six hits over 102 pitches.

"Two pitches got me," said Leake. "Luckily, we had eight runs, so it wasn't too detrimental. To be up 8-0 and have it end up being a stressful game kind of stinks."

Diamondbacks starter Brandon McCarthy (2-8) allowed seven earned runs on eight hits in 2 1/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season.

"I wasn't able to command anything, and when I would get ahead, I couldn't finish them," said McCarthy, who is 0-5 in his past five starts. "I felt like I didn't have anything. I needed to get deeper and not let it become a train wreck."

Parra's solo home run off Jonathan Broxton, which was confirmed by replay after a three-minute delay, cut the D-backs' deficit to 8-6 in the eighth.

Chapman, who entered the game in the top of the eighth inning after Broxton exited with an injury, made his first career plate appearance and struck out in the bottom of the eighth.

For a while, it appeared Cincinnati would cruise to an easy victory on Wednesday.

Choo's towering fly ball on McCarthy's second pitch of the game barely cleared the left-field wall a few feet inside the foul pole, putting the Reds ahead 1-0.

In the second inning, Leake's ground-rule double drove home Mesoraco, making the score 2-0. Choo later delivered a two-run single to put the Reds up 4-0.

The hits kept coming for Cincinnati in the third. Chris Heisey's RBI double made it 5-0, and the Diamondbacks' bullpen began warming up. Mesoraco drove home two more runs with a single off McCarthy who exited the game shortly thereafter.

But the D-backs never quit.

"We certainly didn't give up," center fielder A.J. Pollock said. "That's a good thing. We scratched some runs out, but we couldn't piece enough together to win."

NOTES: Chapman earned his first career two-inning save. .. Choo hit his sixth leadoff home run this season, 11th of his career. ... It's uncertain if Reds LHP Tony Cingrani, who left Tuesday night's game in the fourth inning with a lower back strain, will miss his next start. Reds head trainer Paul Lessard told the Cincinnati Enquirer on Wed. that Cingrani's injury wasn't serious. ... Reds RHP Johnny Cueto, on the disabled list since June 29 with a strained right lat muscle, threw on Wednesday for the first time in a few weeks. "I feel really well today," Cueto said. ... D-backs 1B Paul Goldschmidt leads the National League with 100 RBI and is tied for the NL lead with 31 homers. Since 1970, only five first basemen have led the league in both categories: Albert Pujols (2010), Ryan Howard (2006, ‘08), Mark McGwire (1998) and Andres Galarraga (1996). ... It was McCarthy's shortest outing since Sept. 15, 2008 while with the Rangers. .. It was the seventh time in club history that Arizona used eight pitchers in a nine-inning game.
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