OAKLAND, Calif. — Ramon Hernandez hit a tiebreaking leadoff home run in the 10th inning, Toronto native Joey Votto and Scott Rolen added back-to-back shots and the Cincinnati Reds snapped out of their offensive slump long enough to beat the Oakland Athletics 6-4 on Monday night.
Oakland’s Kevin Kouzmanoff tied the game with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the ninth off Reds closer Francisco Cordero before the Reds powered up in the 10th off relievers Michael Wuertz and Cedrick Bowers.
Cordero (3-3) got the win after his fifth blown save of the season. He gave up a pair of walks leading off the 10th before two more Cincinnati relievers were needed to close the game out.
The win moved Reds manager Dusty Baker into a tie with Chuck Tanner for 26th place on the all-time list.
Cincinnati had taken a 2-1 lead in the top of the ninth when pinch-hitter Jay Bruce singled off Oakland closer Andrew Bailey to drive in Drew Stubbs.
Kouzmanoff’s third career home run off Cordero tied the game again before the Reds snapped a long offensive slump after scoring just one run in three games while getting swept in a three-game series at Seattle over the weekend.
Hernandez hit an 0-1 pitch from Wuertz (2-1) that bounced off the right field foul pole, breaking the 2-2 tie. Brandon Phillips followed with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice before Votto’s two-run shot off Bowers. Rolen followed with his home run, tying Votto for the team lead with 15.
Cincinnati won for just the second time in 10 regular-season games against the A’s, who have dropped eight of their last 10 overall.
After Cordero’s two walks in the 10th, Kurt Suzuki singled off Daniel Ray Herrera to load the bases. Ryan Sweeney’s fielder’s choice made it 6-3 before Jordan Smith got Kouzmanoff on a run-scoring grounder and then struck out Jack Cust for his first career save.
Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez gave up an unearned run in the first inning after shortstop Cliff Pennington bobbled Phillips’ grounder. Votto’s one-out double drove in Phillips, Cincinnati’s second run scored in 31 innings.
The Reds didn’t get much else off Gonzalez, who scattered four hits over seven innings. He also had nine strikeouts, one shy of his career high.
Cincinnati rookie Mike Leake was just as solid but left with a no-decision for the fifth time in his last seven starts. The right-hander didn’t allow a hit until Pennington’s one-out bloop single in the third and got some help from his defence. After Conor Jackson singled in Rajai Davis in the fifth, Cincinnati left fielder Jonny Gomes threw out Daric Barton at third base after Barton overslid the bag.
NOTES: Baker is making a pitch for LHP Arthur Rhodes to be included on the NL all-star team. Rhodes, who carried a league-leading 0.29 ERA into Monday, has not been scored upon in 29 innings. ... DH Cust was back in the A’s lineup after pinch-hitting in each of the three games against St. Louis. Cust went 0-for-4. ... Pennington committed his team-leading 10th error in the first inning. ... Manager Bob Geren said before the game that LHP Brett Anderson (sore elbow, forearm) might not return to the A’s rotation for 3-4 weeks. ... LHP Dallas Braden will start for Oakland on Tuesday and is seeking his first win in eight starts since pitching a perfect game on May 9. ... Kouzmanoff is batting .396 (19 for 48) in interleague play this season.