CINCINNATI – Joey Votto has hit two homers and produced four runs to help the Cincinnati Reds crush the Pittsburg Pirates 13-1, but more importantly, stay in the hunt for a NHL draft.
Nick Castellanos, rookie Jonathan India and Eugenio Suarez also hit the long ball to secure a fourth consecutive victory for the Reds (82-75). Castellanos produced five runs while India finished with four hits and four runs.
The Reds moved closer to 5.5 games with the inactive St. Louis Cardinals on Monday, who are currently the second team drafted. The Cards (87-69), who have just signed 16 consecutive wins, however, only need one victory to eliminate the Reds.
The 38-year-old Votto returned to the game after missing two games with pain in his left knee. In his 1896th game in the MLB, he became the Canadian with the second-highest total in career games, behind Larry Walker’s 1988. He shared this second place with Matt Stairs.
The first baseman hit a two-run slap against Connor Overton (0-1) in the Reds’ four-run first inning. He hit another two-run homer in the fourth. Votto has 35 homers and 96 RBIs this season, his best since coming close to winning a second National MVP title in 2017.
Castellanos hit two sacrificial balls ahead of hitting a three-run homer in the sixth, good for three runs.
Reiver Sanmartin pitched five and two-thirds in his Major debut, allowing just one run. The 25-year-old southpaw struck out five batters and conceded just one walk.
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