Paul, Hannahan atone for blunders, key Reds' win

Jeff Wallner, Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- One day after left fielder Xavier Paul made a key baserunning mistake and third baseman Jack Hannahan committed a career-high three errors in the Reds' loss on Saturday, both players factored heavily in a 13-inning win over San Diego on Sunday afternoon.
First baseman Joey Votto's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 13th inning scored Hannahan with the game-winner, lifting Cincinnati to a 3-2 victory over the Padres in the finale of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.
With the bases loaded against right-hander Tim Stauffer (1-1) in the 13th, Votto flew out to left field and Hannahan, who had walked, trotted home well ahead of the throw.
"That's the beauty of baseball," Hannahan said. "You put games like (Saturday's) behind you and show up the next day ready to go."
Paul set the stage for the victory with a two-run, game-tying home run in the eighth off Padres starter Ian Kennedy, who to that point had dominated the Reds through seven innings.
"It felt great to come back after (Saturday) night, making plays that in some people's opinion cost us the game, and put us in position to win," Paul said.
San Diego had runners in scoring position in the 11th, 12th and 13th innings but failed to score. The Padres went 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position and left 15 runners on base.
"We didn't get it done," said Padres manager Bud Black. "It's a topic we discuss all the time, situational hitting. We got good pitches to hit."
Sam LeCure (2-1) earned the victory after pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
For seven innings, Kennedy shutdown Cincinnati, allowing just one hit and three runners. He finished with two earned runs allowed on three hits, two walks and three strikeouts over eight innings.
"Kennedy kept them off balance all day," Black said. "He threw two great changeups to Paul. The third one was up."
Reds starter Mike Leake allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits with three walks in seven innings. He threw just seven pitches in a 1-2-3 first inning, but he struggled with his command at times on Sunday.
The Padres loaded the bases with one out in the second by getting three singles.
Rene Rivera's sacrifice fly drove in the first run, and a throwing error on the play by shortstop Cesar Izturis allowed another run to score, putting San Diego ahead. 2-0.
Kennedy, who had a 1.35 career ERA at Great American Ball Park entering Sunday's game, gave up only Leake's single through five innings.
Leake worked around three walks, one intentional, in the fourth inning when the Padres left the bases loaded.
Kennedy, meanwhile, cruised through the Reds lineup, allowing just three baserunners in the first seven innings, including two walks, and retiring 16 straight batters in one stretch. Kennedy threw just 82 pitches through seven.
"Kennedy was dealing," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "I don't know if it was more him, or us. We had to persevere."
Prior to Paul's homer, the hardest hit ball off Kennedy was Jay Bruce's fly out to the warning track in the seventh.
In the Padres' seventh, Will Venable doubled. An errant pick-off attempt by Leake sailed into center, but Venable was awarded third base when it was ruled shortstop Izturis interfered with him. Reds manager Dusty Baker vehemently argued the call. Venable was retired in a rundown between third and home moments later, and Leake escaped without allowing a run.
"They threatened a bunch of times," said Baker of the Padres. "It looked bleak for a while. Every time you turned around we were in trouble. It really taxed our bullpen heading to Chicago. We had to bear down to our last man today."
In the Reds' eighth, an infield hit by pinch-hitter Zack Cozart preceded Paul's two-run home run, which came on a 1-2 pitch from Kennedy and sailed 422 feet to left field, tying the score 2-2. "I was just trying to elevate one," Paul said.
Reds closer Aroldis Chapman struck out the three batters he faced in the ninth, part of six scoreless innings turned in by Cincinnati's bullpen.
NOTES: Cincinnati improved to 8-8 in extra innings this season. ... It was Paul's third pinch homer of the season and fifth of his career. ... Venable's double in the seventh extended his hitting streak to eight games. ... Ronny Cedeno's 19th career triple in the sixth inning was his first hit as a Padre. ... Padres LF Jaff Decker made his first major league start on Sunday and went 0-for-3. ... Leake is a San Diego native, and graduate of Fallbrook High School. ... Padres RHP Tyson Ross, Saturday's winning pitcher, now has a 2.20 ERA as a starter, fourth-best in the major leagues among starting pitchers with at least seven starts. His .182 opponent batting average leads the majors.

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