CINCINNATI (AP) -- Freddy Sanchez didn't have a choice, and he
didn't have a chance.
Cincinnati's Jason Romano was on third base and Ryan Freel was
on first with one out in the bottom of the ninth of a 5-5 game
between the Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night. Felipe
Lopez then hit a broken-bat chopper at the drawn-in Sanchez. The
shortstop had to deal with the barrel of the bat, which grazed his
left wrist as he fielded the ball.
Sanchez's throw to catcher David Ross was too late to get
Romano, who slid across the plate to give the Reds a 6-5 victory.
"I'm fine," Sanchez said before he left to get stitches to
close a cut on his wrist. "I'm kind of bummed that we didn't get
the out. I wanted to field it with my glove hand to make a good
throw. I saw the bat, and I saw the ball. I just put the game ahead
The Reds have won four of their last five games.
"I feel for him, but that's a pretty good job of staying with
the ball," said Lopez, who was credited with an RBI.
Pittsburgh, which tied the game 5-5 with two runs in the top of
the ninth, has lost seven of 10.
Romano, who entered the game during a double-switch in the
ninth, doubled off reliever Mike Gonzalez (0-1) with one out and
moved to third on Freel's infield single.
"I was going on contact," Romano said. "If the ball was hit
to the third baseman or pitcher, I could hold up. It was my read. I
saw the bat fly, and then I saw the ball trickle out there. When I
saw that, I knew I could make it."
Ryan Wagner (2-1) got the win after missing out on his first
career save. He started the ninth with a 5-3 lead, but Jose
Castillo led off with a single and Sanchez followed with a double
to give the Pirates runners at second and third with no outs. Ross
hit a grounder to Freel at second base to score Castillo, and
Sanchez scored from second on Freel's throwing error.
Ross was awarded second on the error, and pinch-hitter Jack
Wilson sacrificed him to third before Wagner got Matt Lawton to hit
into a harmless groundout and struck out Ty Wigginton to preserve
"You've got to let go whatever happened," Wagner said. "At
that point, nobody's coming in for you. The game is in your
"You try to minimize the damage," Cincinnati manager Dave
Miley said. "If you don't, you're facing (Pittsburgh closer Jose)
Mesa, and you always try as hard as you can to not face the other
Cincinnati starter Ramon Ortiz, who was knocked out of his last
start on Sunday with swelling under his left eye after getting hit
by a comebacker, bounced back by going 6 1/3 innings. Ortiz gave up
10 hits and three runs.
The Reds fell behind 3-0 in the fourth on Rob Mackowiak's
three-run homer before coming back against Pittsburgh starter Josh
Fogg, who was 6-1 in nine starts against Cincinnati entering the
game. Fogg allowed eight hits and five runs.
Fogg had allowed one baserunner -- on an error -- until Lopez led
off the fourth with a double. After a passed ball, Ken Griffey Jr.
lined an RBI single to right.
Javier Valentin of the Reds led off the fifth with his first
homer since Sept. 22. Valentin's homer bounced off the top of the
fence and into the Pittsburgh bullpen down the right-field line.
Adam Dunn hit Fogg's first pitch of the sixth inning into the
Reds' bullpen in left-center field to make it 3-3. It was his
league-leading 14th home run. Joe Randa and Jacob Cruz followed
with consecutive doubles to give the Reds the lead and knock Fogg
out of the game.
Valentin greeted reliever John Grabow with a run-scoring single.
Pittsburgh manager Lloyd McClendon believed the game never
should have come down to Lopez's chopper. The Pirates went 1-for-12
with runners in scoring position.
"Several things went against us," he said. "We had
opportunities. We should've blown the game wide open."
Randa returned to the starting lineup after missing four
games with a sore left foot. ... Fogg's start was the 100th of his
5-year career. ... Lawton's steal of second in the third inning
snapped Pittsburgh's streak of 15 consecutive games without a
stolen base. ... Lopez extended his season-high hitting streak to
nine games, one game short of matching the career high he set last
August. ... Dunn's homer was the 50th of his career at Great
American Ball Park. All 12 of his RBI at home have come on home