Saturday, June 22, 2013 11:26 pm
Chapman blows save, Reds lose to Diamondbacks 4-3
By JONATHAN DALTONAssociated Press
"The big night offensively didn't really mean a whole lot," Bruce said after closer Aroldis Chapman squandered a one-run lead in the ninth inning and the Reds lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3 Saturday.
Bruce's second home run, a two-run shot off Heath Bell, gave Cincinnati a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth. It was his team-leading 18th homer, though he said he doesn't focus on the numbers.
"I try not to worry a whole lot about the results as much as the work and preparation before the game," Bruce said. "It has given me more of a mental peace of mind."
Bruce's home run also put Mike Leake in position to win after he dueled Arizona starter Patrick Corbin for eight innings. Leake retired his first 17 batters and scattered four hits while allowing two runs.
"Leake has arguably been our best pitcher, our most consistent pitcher," Bruce said. "He made one mistake but you are going to win a lot of games giving up just two runs."
Unfortunately for Leake and the Reds, Chapman was unable to get an out in the ninth.
Paul Goldschmidt lined a leadoff single that deflected off the glove of first baseman Joey Votto and into right field. Chapman (3-3) then issued consecutive walks to Miguel Montero and Cody Ross.
With the infield drawn in, Jason Kubel hit a two-run single over second base for his third career game-ending hit.
"Usually Joe catches that ball," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We were all surprised when the ball went to right field, but that's what happens when it's their day. After that, he (Chapman) couldn't find the plate."
Chapman repeatedly reached triple digits on the radar gun but also threw a wild pitch while facing Ross.
"You hate to lose it like that," Baker said. "Of late, we've lost quite a few of them like that. It seemed like Chapman was overthrowing some today."
Brad Ziegler (4-1) replaced Bell after Bruce's second home run and earned the win.
Gerardo Parra hit a two-run homer for Arizona, which has won four straight.
"It's a tough one to swallow but we will be right back there tomorrow," Leake said.
Corbin allowed one run and three hits over eight innings and was handed his fourth straight no-decision in his quest to become the first Diamondbacks pitcher to win his first 10 decisions.
Bruce gave the Reds a 1-0 lead when he led off the second inning with a line drive to the balcony overhanging center field, about 20 feet from where his ninth-inning shot landed.
The 472-foot drive was the longest home run at Chase Field this season and the fourth-longest ever by an opponent. Bruce has homered in seven of his last nine games.
Corbin broke up Leake's nascent bid for a perfect game when he looped an opposite-field double into the left-field corner with two outs in the sixth.
Two pitches later, Parra drove a cut fastball just over the fence into the pool area in right-center for his second home run in two games to give Arizona a 2-1 lead.
"It is a pitch that you have to be careful with, but I didn't quite get it where I wanted," Leake said.
Corbin allowed Bruce's first home run, a single by Devin Mesoraco in the seventh and Derrick Robinson's one-out triple to center in the eighth.
With Robinson representing the potential tying run, the 23-year-old lefty struck out Shin-Soo Choo and Votto to escape the jam and turn the game over to the bullpen.
NOTES: Chapman's blown save was his first since May 19 at Philadelphia. ... It was Bruce's 13th career multihomer game. ... Two of Corbin's four hits this season have been doubles. ... Leake threw only 52 pitches over the first five innings and 92 total. ... Parra's home run was the second allowed by Leake in his past five starts. ... RHP Randall Delgado will make his second start for the Diamondbacks against RHP Mat Latos in Sunday's series finale. Latos is coming off his first loss of the season Tuesday against Pittsburgh.