It was an eventful first inning and Billy Hamilton was running all over the place. His pace set the tone tonight as the Reds collected 17 hits and chased Pelfrey after two innings. Hamilton led off with a single and three straight Reds reached when Todd Frazier drove in Hamilton, and just like that Cincinnati was on the board with the bases loaded and nobody out. Mike Pelfrey ended up throwing a 30-pitch inning and giving up three runs in the process.
The Twins responded with a threat in the top of the second, putting runners on the corners with no out. Mike Leake had been terrific this month and induced a double play off the bat of Kurt Suzuki, scoring Trevor Plouffe but with the lead Leake gladly took the two-for-one.
Hamilton led off the second with a walk and stole another base two pitches later. Its fun to watch a guy who is that aggressive on the base paths even if its against you. Hamilton then scored his second run of the game as Cincinnati took a 4-1 lead. It wouldn't get easier for big Pelf, as he began the third inning the same way he did in the first - allowing the first four men to reach. With the Reds collecting nine hits against Pelfrey, Paul Molitor had no choice to call to his bullpen and Alex Meyer was called upon in another ugly situation.
Hamilton continued to pest the Twins, stealing his third base of the game in only the third inning. Despite getting the first out, Meyer walked the next two and the bases were juiced for Joey Votto (the Joe Mauer of the national league), who went the other way on a 3-2 pitch and scored two more to put the Reds were up 9-1. The books were closed on Pelfrey who gave up eight earned runs for the second time this month.
Minnesota was able to get a couple back in the fourth when Torii Hunter led off with a double and Plouffe picked him up with an RBI single. Eddie Rosario has not hit well at all away from Target Field having just two multi-hit games this year. Well, Rosario had two singles in his first at bats tonight and continued the threat in the fourth. Eduardo Escobar and Danny Santana each chipped away with an RBI of their own trying to limit the deficit. But it was Brian Dozier pulling a three run blast to make it just a two run game, capping off a six run fourth inning, that put the Twins back in the contest. For Dozier, it was his 16th home run of the season and a case of foreshadowing if he is indeed selected to the All-Star game which is held in Cincinnati this year.
J.R. Graham pitched very well out of the bullpen. Ryan Pressly was tagged with four hits, two earned runs and also issued a free pass tonight. Pressly had been enjoying a nice stretch of games this month, allowing just two runs over his ten innings pitched.
Minnesota was not able to drive in another run even though they had a runner 90 feet away in the fifth and the sixth. Twins fall by a final of 11-7. Hopefully Phil Hughes can give the bullpen arms a rest tomorrow for game two of the series.