Mesoraco makes sure Reds salvage finale

MARK SCHMETZER Associated Press Published:

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Brayan Pena's tight hamstring gave Devin Mesoraco a chance to be the star.

Mesoraco homered twice, including his third grand slam of the season, and drove in a career-high six runs as the Cincinnati Reds salvaged the finale of a three-game series against the Miami Marlins with a 7-2 victory on Sunday.

Pena normally catches when Johnny Cueto pitches, but Reds manager Bryan Price determined he wasn't ready. So Mesoraco was in the lineup on Sunday afternoon after a night game.

"Devin took a foul ball off his arm yesterday but I had the good sense not to ask him about it before I made the lineup," Price said. "If there is any point in time that you run him out there, it is now when he's 26."

Brad Hand walked Todd Frazier with the bases loaded in the fifth to break a 2-all tie. Mesoraco followed with his second of the game and 20th of the season, a 371-foot drive into the left-field seats.

Mesoraco leads all major league catchers in home runs and the National League in grand slams. He is 6 for 7 (.857) with the bases loaded and is the sixth player in Reds history to hit three slams in one season -- the first since Chris Sabo in 1993.

"When guys are in scoring position, your focus gets a little better," Mesoraco said. "I saw that guys weren't giving into to him (Hand) and I was looking for a pitch that I could hit and not miss it."

The fifth-inning outburst gave Cueto (14-6) some breathing room. In eight innings, he allowed five hits -- two homers -- with two walks and nine strikeouts. He improved to 6-0 in his last seven starts.

Hand (2-4) allowed five hits and seven runs with three walks -- all in the fifth -- and two strikeouts.

"He just couldn't get through the fifth," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "It came down to offense from one guy."

Giancarlo Stanton, the NL's home run and RBIs leader, lined his 29th homer with two outs in the first for a 1-0 Miami lead.

Right-fielder Jay Bruce made a leaping catch in the eighth to rob Stanton of a second homer.

Mesoraco gave the Reds a 2-1 lead in the first with his first homer in 10 games since July 30, a 390-foot blast that bounced off the roof of the Cincinnati bullpen in left-center with Bruce on first and two outs.

Casey McGehee tied the game with his third homer of the year, a 383-foot shot to left with one out in the fourth.

ON DECK

Marlins: The Marlins, who took a series from St. Louis in early July for the first time since 2009, will try to make it two straight over the Cardinals. Their three-game set in Miami begins Monday with right-hander Tom Koehler taking the mound.

Reds: Right-hander Mat Latos tries to improve his career interleague record to 10-3 in 18 starts on Tuesday in the opener of a two-game home series against Boston.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Reds: Pena's injury forced him out of Friday's game after two innings and limited him to a pinch-hit appearance on Saturday.

HOME RUN DERBY DROUGHT

Todd Frazier has not homered in his last 20 games and has just one home run since reaching the finals of the All-Star game Home Run Derby. Frazier has hit .310 in his last 14 games and doesn't feel the skills competition affected his swing. "If I was struggling I might think that," Frazier said. "Home runs come in bunches. I might hit three or four in a week. In Double-A in 2010 I went my first 115 at-bats without a home run and ended up with 17."

JOHNNY BEISBOL

Johnny Cueto, nicknamed "Johnny Beisbol" by his teammates, is 9-1 in his last 10 decisions.

REDS MENACE

Stanton's homer was his fourth of the season off Reds' pitching, the most against any opponent. He has hit two off Cueto.

WINLESS IN CINCINNATI

Marlins left-handed starters are 0-6 in Cincinnati since Dontrelle Willis beat the Reds on August 7, 2005.

BLUE JAYS 6, TIGERS 5, 19 innings

TORONTO -- As fans filed out of Rogers Centre following the longest game in Toronto Blue Jays history, Lionel Richie's "All Night Long" played over the sound system.

For a while, it looked like the "day" game might just go all night.

Jose Bautista's single in the 19th inning drove home the winning run as the Blue Jays rallied from a 5-0 deficit to beat the Detroit Tigers 6-5.

"It was a long day today and coming out on top is the only thing that matters," Bautista said.

Munenori Kawasaki singled off Rick Porcello (13-7) to begin the 19th and advanced to third when second baseman Ian Kinsler couldn't field an errant throw from Porcello on Jose Reyes' sacrifice bunt. Melky Cabrera was intentionally walked to load the bases for Bautista, who ended it with a single to right over the drawn-in outfield, sending his teammates streaming out of the dugout in celebration.

Porcello, who threw 110 pitches over seven innings against the Yankees on Thursday, and tossed a 30-pitch bullpen session Saturday, worked two-plus innings out of the bullpen as the Tigers used eight pitchers.

Porcello called the grounds crew out to work on the mound in the 17th because he was struggling with his landing spot on the well-worn dirt.

"The holes were so big," Porcello said. "I couldn't really get any kind of footing, I was falling on every pitch. There was nowhere to move around on the rubber. It was one big crater."

Led by a six-inning stint from Chad Jenkins (1-1), Toronto's bullpen threw 15 2-3 innings of scoreless relief. The Blue Jays also used eight pitchers.

"I was just out of gas," Jenkins said. "I haven't thrown six innings all year."

It was the second 19-inning game in as many days. The Los Angeles Angels beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 on Saturday night. The last time there were two 19-inning games in the same month was July 1985.

Toronto had twice played 18 innings, doing it against the Angels on July 28, 2005, and Texas on June 8, 2013.

At 6:37, it was the longest game by time in Blue Jays history, easily surpassing a 5:57 game against the Yankees on April 19, 2001.

The lights at Rogers Centre were turned on in the 13th inning, fans rose for a 14th-inning stretch and the grounds crew came back out to clean the field for a second time as the marathon affair dragged on.

"A lot of things you don't see in everyday baseball seemed to all happen in this game," Tigers reliever Joe Nathan said.

The Blue Jays used 22 of the 25 players on their roster, with only starting pitchers R.A. Dickey, J.A. Happ and Drew Hutchison staying on the bench. Dickey did go to the bullpen and begin stretching in the 19th.

The Tigers, who didn't call up replacements for injured pitchers Anibal Sanchez and Joakim Soria, used everyone except pitchers Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander.

"We didn't think we could get them here," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said of the decision not to bring in reinforcements from Triple-A Toledo. "Of course, if we knew we had until 7:00 to get them here, maybe we would have."

DODGERS 5, BREWERS 1

MILWAUKEE -- Clayton Kershaw won his 14th game to tie for the National League lead, and the Dodgers beat the Brewers to avoid a three-game sweep in a matchup of divisional leaders.

RED SOX 3, ANGELS 1

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Yoenis Cespedes hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning, Rubby De La Rosa pitched five-hit ball into the eighth and the Red Sox bounced back from a 19-inning loss with a victory over the Angels.

MARINERS 4, WHITE SOX 2

SEATTLE -- Austin Jackson, acquired in a trade with the Detroit Tigers before the deadline, matched a career-high with four RBIs to lead the Mariners to a victory over the White Sox.

PHILLIES 7, METS 6

PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Howard had a game-ending single with two outs in the ninth inning after pinch-hitter Marlon Byrd had a tying hit and the Phillies pulled out a victory over the Mets.

TWINS 6, ATHLETICS 1

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Kurt Suzuki hit a tiebreaking double and Josh Willingham added two-run homer in the eighth inning, and the Twins snapped a 12-game losing streak to Oakland by beating the Athletics.

CUBS 3, RAYS 2, 12 INNINGS

CHICAGO -- Anthony Rizzo hit a game-ending RBI single in the 12th inning, and the Cubs beat the Rays to avoid a three-game sweep.

CARDINALS 8, ORIOLES 3

BALTIMORE -- Rookie Kolten Wong had four hits and scored twice, Peter Bourjos homered and the Cardinals beat the Orioles to avoid a three-game sweep.

Baltimore starter Kevin Gausman (6-4) allowed three runs and eight hits in five innings.

ROYALS 7, GIANTS 4

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez each homered and Danny Duffy pitched into the seventh inning as the Royals beat the Giants to extend their winning streak to seven games.

ROCKIES 5, DIAMONDBACKS 3, 10 INNINGS

PHOENIX -- Corey Dickerson hit a tiebreaking homer with two outs in the top of the 10th inning, and the Rockies avoided a seventh straight loss to the Diamondbacks.

PADRES 8, PIRATES 2

PITTSBURGH -- Tyson Ross recovered from a two-run first to pitch six strong innings and Seth Smith hit a bases-loaded triple, leading the Padres to a victory over the Pirates.

RANGERS 6, ASTROS 2

HOUSTON -- Nick Martinez got his first win since May 24 and Adrian Beltre and Shin-Soo Choo both homered to lead the Rangers to a victory over the Astros, snapping a seven-game skid against their in-state rivals.

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