Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/13/12

Joey Votto had been more like Joey Votto Lite through the first six weeks of the season, riding a lot of walks to a high on-base percentage and leading the National League in doubles with 15 going into play Sunday.

The Cincinnati Reds first baseman turned the intensity up a notch in the series finale against the Washington Nationals, erupting for a double and three home runs, the last a walk-off grand-slam off Henry Rodriguez that gave the Reds a 9-6 win and touched off the playing of Handel's "Hallelujah" chorus.

"Everybody talks about how he's treading water," center fielder Drew Stubbs said. "Then he has a game like that. He wasn't far from hitting five (homers). Hopefully, he's back to what he used to be."

The game was just the result of his ongoing work, said Votto, whose homers were his first since April 30.

"I've noticed some things," he said. "We've talked about it, and I've tried to take it into the games and practice. It's certainly a work in progress, but I think I hit more barrels today than I have all season."

The walk-off grand slam was Cincinnati's first since Adam Dunn hit one off of Cleveland's Bob Wickman on June 30, 2006. The multi-homer game was the ninth of Votto's game, and the three-homer game was his second. His six RBI were a single-game career high.

"Votto had a big day. That's great," said manager Dusty Baker, who saw his team score a combined six runs in the last two innings to avoid being swept in the three-game series. "Hopefully, this is the type of game that will get us going. You like to see Joey hitting like that. I keep telling the guys you've got to believe."

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