Votto reaches base nine times in one day

Votto reaches base nine times in one day

CINCINNATI -- Joey Votto has long been regarded as one of baseball's best at getting on base. During Wednesday's day-night doubleheader vs. the Cubs, the Reds' first baseman made it a historic feat.

While going a combined 5-for-6 with four walks in the two games, Votto became the first player since Robinson Cano in 2010 to reach base nine times in one day.

In the Reds' 9-1 victory during Game 1, Votto was 3-for-4 with a walk. He hit his 17th home run of the season in the fifth inning on a first pitch from Kyle Hendricks before adding singles in both the seventh and eighth innings.

Votto's solo homer

"Even his outs right now are hard line drives all over the field," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

In the Reds' 6-5 loss in the nightcap, Votto was 2-for-2 with three walks. He hit singles in the first and third innings and was intentionally walked in the second and eighth innings, while drawing an unintentional walk with one out in the sixth.

Votto hit safely in his final five official at-bats of the day and has reached safely in 13 straight games and 82 of 92 games this season. He led the league in on-base percentage from 2010-13. This season, he's ranked third in the National League with a .413 OBP and fourth with a .925 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Votto is the fifth player in the last 20 years to reach base nine times in one day during doubleheaders. The others were:

1. Robinson Cano (Oct. 2, 2010) -- six hits, two walks, HBP
2. Bobby Abreu (Aug. 18, 2006) -- six hits, three walks
3. Hideki Matsui (June 28, 2003) -- six hits, three walks, HBP
4. Eric Young (July 23, 1996) -- seven hits, one walk, HBP

According to Cincinnati television statistician Joel Luckhaupt, Votto is also the first Reds player to reach nine times in one day since Pete Rose on July 2, 1976, vs. the Astros.

Although Votto had a productive but not outstanding first half, he has been scorching since the All-Star break. In seven games, he's batting .538 (14-for-26) with two homers and five multihit games to raise his batting average from .277 to .298.

"I've been working with [hitting coach] Don Long to make some adjustments to what was a flawed swing," Votto said between games on Wednesday. "I'm still kind of working through it. I feel like I'm headed in the right direction. There are some subtle adjustments to make."

How were the flaws found?

"The ball speaks for you," Votto said. "The way the ball comes off the bat, timing with the pitchers, the way you feel at the plate. That does plenty for you. Then after that, you go to the video or have discussions with the right people and work from there."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.