"I think that's the best kind," Votto said of the win. "Anybody can win when they're hot and do well when they're hot. Winning close ones, the ones where you're forced to play extra innings and play against a competitive team like the Padres, I'm glad we ended up winning this one and win this series and having a better [5-3] homestand than I think the general perception was of how we've been playing so far."
In the past two games, the Reds had more errors (six) than runs scored (four). They had five hits on Sunday, but just one through the first seven innings against Padres starter Ian Kennedy.
Through 12 innings after the start of Saturday's contest, Cincinnati's one-through-seven spots in the order were 1-for-32. Credit belongs to Reds pitching for that stat not haunting. While starter Mike Leake pitched seven innings and allowed two runs (one earned), the bullpen followed by facing 26 batters over six scoreless innings and throwing 106 pitches.
"It was tough," Padres infielder/outfielder Logan Forsythe said. "When you get into extra innings, it's a grind. You're just waiting for that big hit. They got it and we didn't today. And Ian pitched a heck of a game, too."
San Diego put the leadoff man on base in each of the final three innings, but finished the game 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position and left 15 men on base.
"They had a whole bunch of more chances than we did," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "... We weren't really in a position to win the game. They were in a position 15 times to win the game. That's one we'll take with us, but you can't play that game all the time and expect to win."
Kennedy, who came in 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA in three lifetime starts vs. the Reds, retired 16 in a row after Leake's leadoff single for their first hit in the third inning. That ended when pinch-hitter Zack Cozart reached on an infield single off the glove of first baseman Yonder Alonso. It was just the tiny opening Cincinnati needed.
Next came pinch-hitter Xavier Paul, who was one of the goats in Saturday's loss because of a critical fielding error and baserunning mistake. Redemption came when he hit a 1-2 Kennedy pitch into the top of the right-field sun deck seats for the game-tying two-run home run. It was Paul's third pinch-hit homer of the season and the fifth of his career and it ended a streak of 15 scoreless innings for the Reds.
"To be able to come back today -- and late in the game like that -- to help put my team in position to get a win, it makes me feel real good," Paul said.
Reliever Logan Ondrusek began the top of the 11th by allowing back-to-back singles and had a one-out balk that put the two runners into scoring position. But Ondrusek escaped without damage. He loaded the bases in the 12th with a two-out walk before Sam LeCure got a flyout from Ronny Cedeno. LeCure, who earned the win, allowed Jedd Gyorko's leadoff double in the 13th, but got away clean.
"That was kind of a Houdini act today," Baker said of his staff. "We got out of trouble a whole bunch of times with 15 runners on base. They threatened a whole bunch of times. They had a lot of hits."
The events served to allow a second Reds bench player to redeem himself from Saturday's bad night. Jack Hannahan, who entered on a double switch in the 12th inning, started the winning rally in the Reds' 13th with a walk against Tim Stauffer. Hannahan started on Saturday and made a career-high three errors at third base.
Shin-Soo Choo snapped a season-high 0-for-16 skid with a double off of the right-field wall that put runners on second and third base. With a fifth Padres infielder, Forsythe, moved in from left field, pinch-hitter Ryan Hanigan -- Baker's last position player on the bench -- was hit by a 1-2 pitch to load the bases for Votto.
Once again against a regular four-man infield, Votto lifted a fly ball to left field that was more than deep enough for Hannahan to score standing up and end the four-hour, 18-minute game.
"He had a rough game yesterday and he ends up scoring the game-winning run," Votto said. "It's a really silly sport sometimes. I'm happy he ended up crossing the plate and being part of our 13-inning win."