Rain suspends Bucs' power display in Cincinnati
Club hits consecutive homers thrice; game to resume Tuesday, 5:30 ET
CINCINNATI -- Travis Snider getting hit flush in the face by a foul ball that on review was ruled fair was about the least crazy thing that happened at Great American Ball Park on Monday night.
The Pirates hit six home runs, all solo shots in three back-to-back sets. The Reds hit four, but three of theirs came with a man on.
Oh, and all that happened within six innings, which was all the teams got to play before rains suspended the 7-7 game.
"Small park, a lot of wind, the rain ... and the ball carries well here, regardless," said Neil Walker, the lead man in two of the Pirates' back-to-back deployments. "I know we hit some balls we didn't think would get out, but did."
"I saw a lot of crazy stuff in Coors Field over the years, saw a lot of weather," said manager Clint Hurdle, the former Rockies manager. "This was as good as any of that, all jammed into one evening."
The craziest, obviously, was the fact the game was not played to conclusion. This was an extremely odd sensation for participants in a sport that does not have ties.
It did this time, at least temporarily.
"Fortunately, we'll get to finish it right away," Walker said. "If we had to wait a month and a half, it'd be really abnormal."
Monday's suspended game will be concluded at 5:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, prior to the regularly scheduled 7:10 second game of the series.
Plenty of time for the Bucs and Redlegs to reload and extend the record they have already set, most homers at Great American Ball Park. The 10 broke the record set on May 27, 2012, by the Rockies (five homers) and the Reds (four).
The record 10th was hit by Devin Mesoraco in the sixth off Pirates reliever Bryan Morris.
By then, Walker and Gaby Sanchez had gone back to back twice, in the second off Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey and again in the sixth off reliever J.J. Hoover.
In between, Bailey also served up consecutive fifth-inning homers to Starling Marte and Snider.
"It seemed like anything they hit, went out," Bailey said. "Anything up in the air left the yard. Don't get me wrong, there were a few of them that were terrible pitches they hit really good. Ten home runs in one night, I don't think it's just bad pitching, you know?"
Minutes before Snider's home run, Todd Frazier had hit a foul ball off his face and wound up on second, ahead of Ryan Ludwick's homer. That might need some explanation.
Snider pursued Frazier's tailing drive down the right-field line, where foul territory is only a few hazardous feet. As he neared the railing, Snider lowered himself into trying to slide under the ball -- but he misjudged its flight, and it hit him flush on the left cheek. First-base umpire Brian Knight signaled two things: Foul, and for trainers to come to the prone outfielder's aid.
Snider was checked out and stayed in the game. Cincinnati manager Bryan Price challenged the call that Snider was in foul territory when struck and, following a review of 2 minutes and 30 seconds, the call was overturned and Frazier was awarded second.
"He laid out, trying to make a play, and the ball clipped him right on the chin," said Hurdle, who accompanied head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk to check out Snider. "But he was good to go, wasn't dizzy or anything. And he obviously showed up right after that."
Ludwick showed up a bit earlier, following the double with the middle of the Reds' trio of two-run homers off left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, with Frazier connecting before and Joey Votto after.
Majestic home runs are sometimes said to bring rain, with their high, arching fly patterns.
This time, rain brought home runs. As the clouds emptied for the first time, three batters in a four-batter sequence clocked long drives.
With two outs in the bottom of the first, Frazier went 438 feet just to the left of dead-center.
After Jay Bruce made the final out of that inning, Walker homered 442 feet, halfway up the right-field stands, and Sanchez immediately followed with his own jack to straightaway center, 418 feet worth.
And it was just the beginning of the showers, rain and power both.
Everyone thought it was a pretty good show, with the possible exceptions of the exploited pitchers, the Bucs' Rodriguez and Bailey of the Reds.
Lest you doubt the deluge was the result of the conditions with a hitter-friendly park, consider this was the 146th start of Bailey's career and the first one in which he allowed four home runs.
For a while, the umpiring crew considered keeping the wet game going. Between the last couple of innings, the grounds crew was busy covering the mound and the infield with fresh dirt.
"We got weather updates from the umps, and I was told at one time we were gonna play through it," Hurdle said. "And an inning later it changed."
"At first, the goal was to get through five innings and make the game official," Walker theorized. "Then I think the umps were hoping for one side to have a relatively big lead ... but it didn't work out that way."