Reds suspended by rain in record homer game
Club hits four of 10 HRs, a stadium mark; resumption set for Tuesday, 5:30 ET
CINCINNATI -- As it rained hard on Monday night, baseballs were hit harder while leads and a record were both washed away at Great American Ball Park.
One important item that was missing from a nutty game played between the Reds and Pirates was a final score. Even with a combined 10 home runs, a stadium record, hit through six innings, rain stopped the game with a 7-7 score before the top of the seventh. Following a 1-hour and 38-minute delay, it was suspended.
Play will resume at 5:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
"I've never seen anything like that," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I've seen a lot of home runs hit. I just haven't seen them like that in those conditions, especially here in Cincinnati. You'd think it'd be a heavy air. It's raining. It's cooler. You just wouldn't imagine that the ball would carry the way it did. A lot of the balls were hit really well, but some of them weren't. It made for kind of a fascinating six innings, that's for sure."
Non-premium tickets may be exchanged at the box office for the continuation, followed by the regularly scheduled game. Fans holding tickets for the regularly scheduled game at 7:10 p.m. will also be admitted for the continuation of the suspended game.
Reds pitcher Homer Bailey continued his struggles to begin the season as he allowed five runs on eight hits with four home runs over five innings. It was the third straight start he did not get beyond the fifth, and he's blown all four leads he's been given during the young season.
"It seemed like anything they hit, went out," said Bailey, who walked none and struck out nine while his ERA climbed to 8.16. "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?"
The Reds were trailing by a 1-0 score in the first inning, when Todd Frazier drove Wandy Rodriguez's 0-2 pitch to center field for a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom half.
Bailey gave the 2-1 lead right back. Neil Walker hit a 95-mph, full-count fastball to right field for a leadoff homer. Next was Gaby Sanchez, who drove a 2-1 pitch to center field to make it back-to-back homers.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Frazier lofted a one-out popup near the right-field foul line. As Travis Snider attempted a sliding catch, the ball hit him in the face in fair territory. Originally ruled a foul ball, Reds manager Bryan Price successfully challenged the call, and it was overturned and called a double for Frazier.
Two batters later, Ryan Ludwick hit a two-run homer to center field to put the Reds back ahead by a 4-3 score.
Bailey, who had 89 pitches through four innings, blew another lead in equally quick fashion. Leading off the fifth, Starling Marte hit an 0-1 pitch to left field for a homer, and Snider did likewise by following with his own homer to left field on an 0-1 pitch for a 5-4 Pittsburgh lead.
"I didn't walk anybody and punched out nine in five innings," Bailey said. "It's kind of a tough one to look at, 'What all did I do wrong?' I did a lot of things right. It was kind of a weird night."
And to think, the home run barrage wasn't even close to being over.
As heavier rains began to fall in the bottom of the fifth, pinch-hitter Neftali Soto batted for Bailey and hit a one-out double down the left-field line, his first Major League hit. Joey Votto put the Reds back into the lead again by pulling Rodriguez's first pitch into the right-field seats for a two-run homer, his third.
Although the rain was intensifying, crew chief Gerry Davis did not order the tarp onto the field but had the grounds crew work on the field between innings.
"I think the umpiring crew was trying to do the best for both teams in the sense of giving both of them the same opportunity to play," Price said. "We talked a lot about it between innings. They felt like it was a game that was playable and there shouldn't be any advantages for either club, and they held true to that."
When the sixth inning started, Bailey was already gone, but so, too, went another Reds lead under the watch of reliever J.J. Hoover. To start it off, Walker and Sanchez combined for their second set of back-to-back homers and a 7-6 Pirates lead. It was the first time in Pirates history the team had three sets of back-to-back homers and only the third time in the Majors. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it last happened for the 1977 Red Sox, with the Reds doing it first in 1956.
"I saw a lot of crazy stuff in Coors Field over the years, saw a lot of weather," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "This was as good as any of that, all jammed into one evening."
In the bottom of the sixth with two outs, Devin Mesoraco made it a 7-7 game with his solo blast into the left-field seats against Bryan Morris. It was the 10th homer of the game, setting a new stadium single-game record and breaking the nine-homer mark set between the Reds and Rockies on May 27, 2012.
"If Mesoraco doesn't hit a homer, we're talking about a loss right now," Price noted.
That also made it the most homers in a Major League game since the Tigers and Cubs combined for 11 at Wrigley Field on June 18, 2006. But this one isn't over, just yet.
There is plenty of time to add some more long balls in this same game, albeit on a different day.
"To be able to come out tomorrow and possibly get two [wins] in one day would be huge for the ballclub," Ludwick said.
The Reds will commence the top of the seventh with a relief pitcher, but they did not reveal who it would be.
"We know who it will be, but we're not going to announce it now," Price said.