Clutch Frazier helps power comeback win
Third baseman knocks game-tying two-run homer in seventh inning
PITTSBURGH -- When Todd Frazier gets a fastball right over the heart of the plate, even one at 99 mph from reliever Arquimedes Caminero, the Reds' third baseman knows exactly how to handle it.
In no time after Frazier's swing, the ball took an express route as it cleared the left-field fence in the seventh inning for a game-tying two-run home run. Cincinnati went on to win, 5-4, in 13 innings.
"The guy was throwing heat, and throwing hard," Frazier said. "I get a fastball, I like to drive them. I got a pitch to hit and I squared it up. That's all I'm trying to do every at-bat. Whether it looked good or not, I'm just trying to square it up."
According to Statcast™, Frazier's home run had an exit velocity of 107 mph and traveled 426 feet. It was his team-leading 24th homer of the season to go with his 52 RBIs. He also was responsible for the game's first run when his RBI single to center field scored Brandon Phillips.
Cincinnati was trailing by a 4-2 score and hadn't scored a run since the second inning when it perked up in the seventh. Joey Votto hit a leadoff single that rolled between right fielder Josh Harrison's legs for a two-base error that put him on third base. Frazier was next and slugged Caminero's 0-1 heater.
Frazier has 17 homers in his career vs. the Pirates, and five this season.
"It was a base hit and a homer in the matter of three or four pitches and it was a tie ballgame," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "After Pirates starter [A.J.] Burnett did what he did. ... And that's a lot of quality strikes and a real good breaking ball and kept us off-balance. So we couldn't have had a bigger moment there to get us feeling like we could come back and win that game."
The Reds and Frazier are trying to promote his candidacy to start for the National League in the All-Star Game in their home at Great American Ball Park next month. As of Tuesday, he was second behind the Cardinals' Matt Carpenter by about 1.2 million votes.
Long balls are certainly a good talking point and attractive to fan voters. Frazier has six homers and 13 RBIs over his last eight games. Batting . 294/.359/.634 in 70 games, he is on pace to hit 54 homers with 118 RBIs this season.
"Very proud," Frazier said of his current numbers. "I just have to keep producing, keep supplying RBIs. I've had a lot of opportunities, especially with runners on and less than two outs in scoring position and I haven't gotten guys in. Once I keep going and keep understanding that I need to swing at my pitch, I could be at 60-70 RBIs right now. I just have to keep going, that's it."