Frazier's walk-off grand slam leads Reds over Tigers
By Jason Beck and Robert Bondy
MLB.com |@beckjason |
CINCINNATI -- The pitching duel between Johnny Cueto and David Price on Wednesday night became a battle of the bullpens that lasted well into Thursday morning. It ended on the familiar sight of Todd Frazier rounding the bases. His 13th-inning walk-off grand slam clinched his second two-homer game in as many nights, sending the Reds to an 8-4 win over the Tigers.
"To win it like that man was pretty cool," Frazier said. "One I'll never forget for sure."
The last time a player hit a walk-off grand slam in Major League Baseball was on May 29 when Padres catcher Derek Norris did so against the Pirates. The last Reds player to hit a walk-off grand slam was on Sept. 27, 2014, when Ramon Santiago, a former Tiger, did so, also against the Pirates.
Miguel Cabrera's three-run homer off Cueto brought the Tigers a sixth-inning lead, erasing what had been a 2-0 Reds advantage built in part on Frazier's solo homer. It also brought a rainstorm, knocking out both starters with a one-hour, 14-minute delay.
What looked at first like a game-winning double from Pena in the 10th became an inning-ending out at the plate when J.D. Martinez and Ian Kinsler executed a relay throw home from the right-field corner, sending this game deep into extras.
"It was just a curveball. It was up in the strike zone," Soria said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Frazier is grand: The grand slam was Frazier's second home run of the night with his first home run, a solo shot, coming in the fourth inning.
"He did the same thing to [Ivan] De Jesus, kind of quick pitched him and threw the curveball so I had it in the back of my mind and I saw it pop out of his hand," Frazier said. "You have to put a good swing on it too so it's doing two things the same, the opportunity rose and I did it." More >
Cabrera brings the rain: Cabrera had struck out and lined out in his first two at-bats, but got a fastball in a sweet spot on the outer half when Cueto tried to overpower him. Cabrera sent his 1-1 pitch halfway up the right-field seats for his 15th home run of the year, turning a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead. More >
Collins delivers in a pinch: Tigers pinch-hitters were 4-for-36 with no extra-base hits this season before Collins, hitting for Wilson to lead off the eighth inning, jumped the first pitch he saw from Mattheus. The ball barely cleared the right-field fence, but was good enough to put the Tigers in front -- briefly -- in the eighth. Collins also hit the Tigers' last pinch-hit home run last Sept. 1 at Cleveland.
Close play at plate: With two outs in the 10th inning and Bruce on first base, Pena hit a double down the right-field line. Bruce was waved home by third-base coach Jim Riggleman, but the relay throw from Kinsler was just in time for catcher Brian McCann to tag Bruce before he slid across home plate. The game remained tied and went into the 11th inning.
Bruce, Pena combine for impressive nights: Both Pena and Bruce came through offensively for the Reds on Wednesday. Bruce had a career-high five hits, while Pena recorded four hits for the second time in the last seven days. The two were part of an odd play in the eighth when Pena hit a sharp grounder up the middle that hit the second-base bag and ricocheted to right field. The play scored Bruce from second to tie the game at 4-4.
"He's out there playing like he's still in Williamsport in the Little League World Series." -- Price, on Frazier
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Frazier became the first Reds player to have back-to-back multi-homer games since Barry Larkin on June 27 and 28, 1991, against the Padres and Astros.
Tigers: Five days after Justin Verlander returned to action with five innings in a no-decision, he hopes for a deeper outing and a better chance to win Thursday against the Reds. Verlander is 25-3 with a 2.89 ERA for his career in Interleague Play, including 4-1 last year.
Reds:Mike Leake will take the mound on Thursday against the Tigers in the two-game series finale at Great American Ball Park. It will be Leake's first career appearance against the Tigers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. Robert Bondy is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.