Timely runs earn win for Reds
Cincinnati scores twice late to pull away from Angels
CINCINNATI -- Conventional wisdom might think, "No way."When a Reds team with the worst record in the National League strikes out 16 times in a game and goes 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position, it usually means another long night. When those events happen like they did on Tuesday against the red-hot Angels, the team with the Majors' second-best record, it should be time for the antacids. Yet, conventional wisdom went out the window as Cincinnati claimed a 5-3 victory over the Angels in an unconventional manner. The Reds' final four runs scored via a fielder's choice, a suicide squeeze bunt, a sacrifice fly and an error. The tie-breaking run scored in the seventh when Ken Griffey Jr. hit a sac fly to right field. "We're not really thinking about being in last place, or whatever," said second baseman Brandon Phillips, who had two hits. "We're just going out there and having fun, proving everybody wrong. We're just worrying about ourselves instead of what other people think." The Reds (26-39) have won four of their last five games, with three of them coming against a first-place American League team. They took two of three from the Indians over the weekend. Angels starter Kelvim Escobar struck out a career-high 14 batters, including eight of the first 11 Reds, but found his pitch count bloated to 76 through four innings. Escobar was out of the game after the sixth. "Those guys have a great club," Reds manager Jerry Narron said of the 40-25 Angels. "They're one of the better teams in baseball -- very solid from top to bottom. They've got great pitching, and you saw that from Escobar, coming out the way he did, striking out eight in the first three innings. Maybe we tired him out a bit."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.