Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 4/16/12
You never want to make too much of a game in mid-April, but the Reds badly needed their 8-5, 11-inning win over the Washington Nationals on Sunday. The Reds had lost the previous three in the series and blew a 5-0 lead Sunday. "We would have liked to split the series," first baseman Joey Votto said. "We would have liked to win that long game (Friday). But you take what you can get this time of year. That sounds like a pathetic approach. But it really is an odd time of the year." The game was 4-0, thanks to Ryan Ludwick's grand slam, before the Nationals came to bat. The home run was Ludwick's first as a Red. "In my opinion, this is a huge win," Ludwick said. "We walk out of here getting swept, it's totally different feeling. They came back. Then Joey gets a big hit late. It's just a big win, a really, really big win." The Reds won it in the 11th, thanks largely to a two-run double by Votto. The Nats walked Votto in the seventh and ninth with runners in scoring position. Both times Scott Rolen struck out. In the 11th, Washington let Tyler Clippard pitch to Votto. "That's a totally different situation," Votto said. "It was first and second. The other times, they had a base open. Tyler's difficult to face in that situation. I haven't had a lot of success off him. I don't particularly like facing him." NOTES, QUOTESSlumping Stubbs gets day off --CF Drew Stubbs was out of the lineup Sunday. He's hitting .167 with 12 strikeouts in 36 at-bats. And it has gotten worse lately. He was 2-for-14 with seven strikeouts in the Washington series. "Especially with the off day coming (Monday), it gives you some time to collect yourself and kind of bounce back in a couple of days," Stubbs said. "I think a lot of times when you hit a little bit of a stretch when you're struggling, you start to try to make corrections on things that weren't really wrong to begin with. --2B Brandon Phillips was back in the lineup Sunday after missing five starts with a strained left hamstring. Reds manager Dusty Baker thought about putting Phillips down in the lineup, but he hit leadoff and went 1-for-4. "I talked to Brandon about it," Baker said. "He said he'd rather bat leadoff. I told him not to do anything excessive." --INF Miguel Cairo, who strained his left hamstring Saturday, is listed as day-to-day. With the off day tomorrow, the Reds will wait to make a call on Cairo. "We've got today and tomorrow before we really have to make a decision," Baker said. "It's still a little tight." --RHP Aroldis Chapman went two innings Sunday, allowing one hit and striking out four. He has pitched eight innings, allowed three hits and no walks and struck out 15. --RHP Mike Leake went 6 13 innings and allowed five runs on five hits. He walked three and struck out one. "I thought I threw the ball really well," he said. BY THE NUMBERS: 10 -- That's how many walks Joey Votto has. No else on the team has more than three. QUOTE TO NOTE: "We're going from one fire to another. Fortunately, we have an off day. That's big. That's real big. You hate a sweep, especially a four-game sweep. They were knocking on the door, but we got out of here with one." -- Reds manager Dusty Baker after the Washington series, which is followed by a series in St. Louis. ROSTER REPORTMEDICAL WATCH: --RHP Nick Masset (right shoulder inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26. He remains two weeks or so from being activated. He hoped to resume throwing in mid-April. --RHP Jordan Smith (right elbow soreness) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26. --RHP Ryan Madson (Tommy John surgery in April 2012) went on the 60-day disabled list April 4. He is out for the season.
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