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CIN@WSH: Votto puts Reds up in 11th with two-run hit

WASHINGTON -- It wasn't clean. It wasn't pretty. And it certainly wasn't easy.

But the Reds got the win on Sunday, and no one worried about style points for the moment.

For the third time in the four-game series, there were extra innings between the Reds and Nationals. This time the Reds emerged with an 8-5 victory in 11 innings and snapped Washington's five-game win streak.

"I'm just glad we won and got out of here by the skin of our teeth," said Reds manager Dusty Baker, whose club had dropped five of its previous six games.

A three-run top of the 11th was highlighted by Joey Votto delivering a one-out, two-run double to the left-field wall off Tyler Clippard to put Cincinnati ahead to stay.

Scott Rolen's RBI single to center field followed Votto for the insurance run the Reds probably thought they wouldn't need in the early going, when they had a 5-0 lead through three innings.

"In my opinion, it was a huge game," said left fielder Ryan Ludwick, who hit a first-inning grand slam for a 4-0 Reds lead. "If we walked out of here getting swept, it's a totally different feeling. A really, really big win, especially going into the day off."

The Reds notched 13 hits Sunday after amassing 12 against Washington over the previous three games combined. Batting .191 as a club going in, their first inning against Ross Detwiler had some hits and a little luck. Following Zack Cozart's one-out single, Rolen hit a two-out ground ball to shortstop. Rolen barely beat a high throw from Ian Desmond and was called safe, though replays showed he may not have been. Jay Bruce then drew a walk that loaded the bases.

Snapping a week-long team streak without a home run, Ludwick followed with a grand slam to center field. All four runs were unearned against Detwiler.

Ludwick hit a one-out single in the third inning and later scored from second base on Ryan Hanigan's RBI single up the middle for a 5-0 lead.

"We knew we would have to get some more. We waited a long time to get the other three," Baker said.

Washington stayed in the game with a three-run bottom of the third against Reds starter Mike Leake. The first four batters of the inning reached safely, culminating in Adam LaRoche's two-run single to right field with the bases loaded. Bruce took his eye off the ball after the bounce, letting it scoot away for an error that put runners on second and third. An additional run scored on Mark DeRosa's groundout to make it a two-run game.

In the Nationals' fifth with a runner on first, Desmond hit a drive to center field over the head of Chris Heisey for a double that scored another run and tightened matters a little more.

"It wasn't easy until the end. They were battling," Baker said of the Nationals. "They are playing good, inspired baseball, and are getting what they need."

The Reds had runners on second and third with one out in the seventh, and another bases-loaded chance with two outs when Rolen went down on a check-swing strike-three call. Overall, Cincinnati was 4-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 on base.

Leake started the bottom of the seventh, and Rick Ankiel hit a leadoff double to right field. A two-out single to center field by Desmond off reliever Logan Ondrusek made it a 5-5 game. Leake's line was five runs and five hits over 6 1/3 innings, with three walks and one strikeout.

"I felt like I threw the ball really well today," Leake said. "A couple of mistakes they hit. A couple of good pitches they hit."

The Washington rally guaranteed another winless game for the Reds' rotation, which has not earned a victory since Johnny Cueto opened the season on April 5 with a win vs. Miami.

Reds reliever Jose Arredondo pitched a perfect 10th inning to get the victory. Sean Marshall earned his first save as a Red in a two-hit bottom of the 11th that brought the tying run to the plate, but saw no damage done.

"I really believe that three of the games played could have gone either way," Ludwick said. "They got it done twice and we got it done once. We could have walked out of here 3-1, but we walked out of here 1-3. Hopefully we can build off of the win." Comments