Pirates, Reds hit 10 HRs before game is suspended

CINCINNATI - Reds left fielder Ryan Ludwick had never experienced anything quite like this rainy night.

"Nope, not in 35 years," Ludwick said. "Well, make that 30. I started playing baseball when I was 5."

No matter how long he plays, he'll have a new reference point for weirdness. And the game's not even over yet.

Neil Walker and Gaby Sanchez hit back-to-back homers twice, and the Pirates and Reds hit 10 homers in all before rain forced a suspension after six innings with the score tied 7-7 on Monday night.

The shocking slugfest will resume Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the top of the seventh inning. Conditions are expected to be drier but much colder with temperatures in the low 40s falling into upper 30s during the evening.

Not that the weather seems to matter much when these two rivals get together.

"I've never seen anything like that," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "The way we got started, one team going in front of the other with home runs. I've seen a lot of home runs hit, but not in those conditions. You wouldn't imagine they would carry that far."

Pittsburgh hit six solo shots and Cincinnati had four homers, most of them into a heavy rain. Already, it's the most homers in a major league game since 2006 and the most combined homers for a game in Great American Ball Park's 12-year history.

Pittsburgh had three sets of back-to-back homers, only the third time that's happened in major league history.

The Reds got two-run homers from Ludwick, Todd Frazier and Joey Votto and a solo shot by Devin Mesoraco.

The Pirates also got back-to-back homers from Sterling Marte and Travis Snider.

The game was suspended following a 1-hour, 38-minute delay, the second time in less than a year that a game was suspended in Cincinnati. The Reds and Phillies were scoreless last April 16 in the middle of the ninth inning when play was halted because of rain, and Cincinnati won 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth the following day.

The Ohio River rivals were known more for trading hit-by-pitches last season. The Pirates and Reds plunked each other 28 times — most in the majors — while nailing down the two NL wild-card spots.

Their first matchup of 2014 was more swing-away than get-out-of-the-way. Ten of the 17 combined hits so far have cleared the wall. All but one of the 14 runs has come on a homer.

"It wouldn't be a Pittsburgh-Cincinnati game without some drama," Walker said.

Pittsburgh went back-to-back three times. Walker and Sanchez did it in the second inning off Homer Bailey and again in the sixth off J.J. Hoover. Marte and Snider teamed up in the fifth against Bailey.

It was only the third time in major league history that a team had three sets of back-to-back homers in a game, according to STATS. The others: Cincinnati against the Braves in 1956, and Boston against the Yankees in 1977.

"I certainly wouldn't think that I would find my way attached to a home run record," Walker said. "The game's not even over yet, so I don't know how to express what's going on. But that's pretty cool."

It was cool for everybody except the pitchers.

Bailey allowed four home runs and five runs in five innings and left with an ERA of 8.16. It was the first time in Bailey's career he has allowed four home runs in one game. He's had three starts this season and has allowed four or more runs and at least one homer in each game.

Pirates starter Wandy Rodriquez allowed three homers and six runs in six innings and left with an ERA of 7.31.

""I saw a lot of crazy stuff in Coors Field over the years," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who managed in Colorado for eight years. "I spent a lot of years there, saw a lot of homers, saw a lot of weather.

"This was as good as any of that, jammed into one evening."

Ticket info: Two games for price of one

Gates at Great American will open Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., according to Rob Butcher, director of Media Relations for the Reds.

Non-premium tickets may be exchanged at the box office for Tuesday's continuation of Monday's game, and will include admission to the regularly scheduled game.

Those who already purchased tickets to the 7:10 p.m. game may attend the make-up game, as well.

Fans affected by the rain-out have one more option: Monday's tickets may be swapped for the Wednesday game against the Pirates, set for 12:30 p.m., subject to availability.

Although Monday's game included Bark in the Park tickets, dogs will not be permitted at the make-up game, nor at Wednesday's game.

 

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