MLB Game Summary - Minnesota at Cincinnati|
(Sunday, June 24th)
Final Score: Minnesota 4, Cincinnati 3
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Josh Willingham crushed a go-ahead two-run
homer in the top of the ninth inning to lift the Twins to a 4-3 triumph over
the Reds in the rubber match of a three-game series Sunday at Great American
Joey Votto gave the Reds a 3-2 lead with a two-run blast in the bottom of the
eighth, but Aroldis Chapman (4-4) was unable to hold the Twins down in the
Joe Mauer ripped a one-out double to set the table for Willingham, who belted
a fastball deep into the left-field seats to give the Twins a one-run lead.
"I was looking for something over the middle and hard and he threw it over the
middle and he threw it hard," remarked Willingham. "I wasn't trying to hit a
home run. I was trying to stay short and I caught one just perfect and got it
up in the air."
Jared Burton, who pitched for the Reds from 2007-11, retired Cincinnati in
the ninth to record the first save of his career. Scott Diamond (6-3) got the
win in the longest outing of his career after tossing eight innings and
giving up three runs on eight hits with a career-high seven strikeouts.
Wilson Valdez finished with two hits, including an RBI single, but the Reds
lost for the fifth time in their last six games.
"It was a tough one to lose. It's a tough one for Chappy and us too," admitted
Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker about Chapman. "He got behind a good hitter in
Willingham and he's a dangerous man."
The Reds struck first in the bottom of the third as Devin Mesoraco scorched a
leadoff double, moved to third on a bunt and finally crossed the plate on a
two-out single to right from Valdez.
Minnesota tied the game with one swing of the bat in the fifth when Trevor
Plouffe crushed a first-pitch sinker into the seats in right-center field.
After the Reds had a run cut down at the plate in the bottom of the sixth,
Minnesota broke the 1-1 tie in the top of the seventh.
Mauer led off the frame with a single and Willingham followed with a double
down the left-field line. Mauer then scored on an RBI groundout from Justin
Morneau to give the visitors a 2-1 lead.
Plouffe then slapped a grounder up the middle, but Brandon Phillips made a
diving stop and fired home to catch Willingham at the plate and keep it a one-
Phillips' play loomed large, as Votto followed an inning later with a go-ahead
two-run shot to left, but Chapman's second straight blown save in the ninth
allowed the Twins to escape with the victory.
Minnesota wrapped up a six-game road trip at 3-3 and finished interleague play
at 9-9...The Reds ended interleague play with a 7-8 record...The Reds have
lost their last six one-run games...There has been at least one home run hit
at Great American Ball Park in each of the last 62 games played there.
06/24 18:36:31 ET