Josh Willingham hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning off shaky Cincinnati closer Aroldis Chapman, rallying the Minnesota Twins over the Reds 4-3 in Cincinnati yesterday.
Joe Mauer opened the ninth with a double off the left-field wall against Chapman (4-4 ). Willingham followed with his 15th homer of the season, a 438-foot drive into the second level in left.
In Chapman's previous outing, he gave up a game-ending, two-run homer to Asdrubal Cabrera in the 10th inning at Cleveland last Tuesday.
Willingham's homer overcame Joey Votto's eighth-inning, two-run homer that had given the Reds a 3-2 lead. Minnesota left-hander Scott Diamond (6-3 ), who'd lost his last two starts, allowed three runs and eight hits in eight innings. He struck out seven and also hit two batters, Votto and Brandon Phillips, with consecutive pitches in the third. Former Reds pitcher Jared Burton worked the ninth for his first career save.
Reds starter Mike Leake allowed just five hits and no walks with five strikeouts in eight innings. The loss left the NL Central leaders at 7-8 in interleague play this season and 104-131 all-time. The Twins finished 9-9 this year and are 157-125 all-time.
The Reds took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on Devin Mesoraco's leadoff double down the left-field line, Leake's sacrifice and Wilson Valdez's two-out single.
Trevor Plouffe tied the score with his 15th homer of the season, a 385-foot drive to right-center field with one out in the fifth. The shot extended to 62 the number of consecutive games in which at least one home run has been hit at Great American Ball Park, the longest current streak in the majors.
The score was 1-all when Mauer lined Leake's first pitch of the seventh to right field for a single and Willingham followed with a double, setting up Justin Morneau's RBI groundout.
Valdez led off the eighth inning with an infield single. Votto followed with his 14th homer of the season, an opposite-field drive to left.
Dobbs, Buck homer as Marlins end skid
Mark Buehrle pitched effectively for seven innings to become the winningest pitcher in interleague play, John Buck hit a three-run homer and the Miami Marlins snapped a six-game losing streak with a 9-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday.
Greg Dobbs had a two-run homer among his three hits for the Marlins, winners for just the third time in 18 games. Buehrle (6-8 ) gave up seven hits in winning his 25th interleague matchup, breaking a tie with Freddy Garcia. Buehrle struck out seven.
Hanley Ramirez hit a two-run triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Logan Morrison to cap the scoring for the Marlins. It was their second shutout of the season.
Toronto starter Jesse Chavez (0-1 ) allowed six runs and seven hits in six innings while striking out six.
Miami opened the scoring in the second inning after Dobbs led off with a single and Omar Infante doubled. Scott Cousins drove in Dobbs with a base hit before Buck's three-run home run to center field, his sixth of the season. Brett Lawrie doubled with two outs in the fifth and tried to score on a base hit to right by Colby Rasmus, but Giancarlo Stanton threw out Lawrie at home preserving a 4-0 lead.
Dobbs' two-run home run stretched the lead to 6-0. He also singled twice in his first two at-bats. Ramirez's triple came off reliever Robert Coello, who hit Austin Kearns with a pitch and walked Jose Reyes setting the stage for Ramirez.
Rajai Davis and Rasmus each had two of the eight hits for the Blue Jays, who left eight on base. Toronto was shut out for the first time since a 3-0 loss to Baltimore on April 25.
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