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Jay Bruce made the two biggest plays of the game for the Cincinnati Reds in their division win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night. With his team trailing 1-0 in the seventh, Bruce drifted as far as he could go on an Andrew McCutchen opposite field fly ball that was ticketed for the first row of seats. Though not nearly as athletic as McCutchen, Bruce showed off some impressive hops as he left his feet and pulled the ball down to keep his Reds within one.
The game would stay 1-0 until the bottom of the ninth when Bruce stepped in against Pittsburgh closer Jason Grilli in a matchup he hasn’t fared well in historically. He entered the at-bat 0 for 7 lifetime with five strikeouts, and that’s not even factoring in that Grilli has been the most dominant closer in baseball this season having converted 25 of 25 saves. Maybe all that really meant was the odds were in Bruce’s favor, or maybe he just took a smart approach by firing on the first plate, because he launched a no doubt homer into the right field seats to tie it up.
It took another four innings before the game would be decided. After Vin Mazzaro intentionally walked Joey Votto to load the bases, a struggling Brandon Phillips bounced one up the middle just beyond the reached of shortstop Clint Barmes to give Cincinnati the 2-1 win in 13 .
Collmenter to the rescue: Starting pitcher Trevor Cahill was forced from the game after one inning after taking a line drive off the hip, which meant Arizona manager Kirk Gibson had to turn to Josh Collmenter for an extended emergency relief outing. Collmenter responded in a big way, tossing six innings of one-hit ball while striking out seven Miami Marlins.
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