With the offense having faltered the entire game, the Cincinnati Reds decided to come alive in the ninth inning.
After notching just a few scattered hits against Francisco Liriano, the Reds found themselves with a three run deficit entering the top of the final inning, and a Pittsburgh crowd ready to go home with a win.
Obviously, the Reds had other plans.
It started with Todd Frazier hitting a ground ball to shortstop Jordy Mercer, who gave the Reds life by making an errant throw with two outs. That allowed Ryan Ludwick to score, and Frazier to advance to second. The score stood at 5-3, with a man in scoring position.
After Zack Cozart’s single put runners at the corners, in stepped the man who has electrified Reds fans everywhere since his call-up. Speedster Billy Hamilton, the CF who has already led Cincinnati to several late-game wins with his quickness on the base paths.
Devin Mesoraco made all the ninth inning drama come to a climax as he lined a hard-hit grounder to Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez. One nasty hop later, and Hamilton is rounding third base, scoring the tying run.
A scoreless bottom to the inning would then send us in extras in Pittsburgh, the game meaning more and more for both teams with the Brewers locked in a tight game against the NL Central-leading Cardinals.
Of course in the top of the tenth, who other than star first baseman Joey Votto to deal the final blow? The big man sent a line drive home run to left field, giving the Reds a 6-5 advantage that would hold for three more outs from the Pirates by the arm of Aroldis Chapman.
-Liriano notched his 1,000th career strikeout against Chris Heisey in the top of the eighth inning.
-Hamilton has now recorded ten steals since his call-up on September 3. He has yet to be caught stealing any base.