Joey Votto, playing through sore knee, swats 2 HR to help Reds stay in playoff race

Joey Votto homered twice and drove in 4 runs, and the Cincinnati Reds pounded the Pittsburgh Pirates 13-1 on Wednesday to remain alive within the race for the second Nationwide League wild card.

Nick Castellanos, rookie Jonathan India and Eugenio Suarez additionally related as Cincinnati (82-75) posted its fourth straight victory, clinching a second straight successful season.

“I’d be lying if I said Nick and I weren’t competing. Competition is in our nature. When he drives in runs it doesn’t affect me. I still have my chances,” mentioned the Toronto-born Votto, who grew up in close by Etobicoke, Ont. “I’m taking more chances and with that comes more outs, but I knew I could hit more home runs and drive in more runs.”

The Reds pulled inside 5 1/2 video games of idle St. Louis for the second wild card. The Cardinals (87-69) want only one extra win to safe the spot.

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“It is tough to see anything when your overall goal is to make the postseason,” supervisor David Bell mentioned of the workforce’s successful report. “Maybe when it’s all over we can enjoy the winning season.”

The 38-year-old Votto made a profitable return to the lineup after lacking two video games with a sore left knee.

The primary baseman hit a two-run shot off Connor Overton (0-1) in the course of the Reds’ four-run first inning, after which related for an additional two-run drive in opposition to Cody Ponce within the fourth.

The six-time all-star has 35 homers and 96 RBI in his greatest season since he practically gained a second NL MVP award in 2017.

“I could have hit 50 home runs in my prime, but I didn’t think it was as productive for the team,” Votto mentioned. “I wanted to do what Juan Soto is doing, get on base a lot with a high average.”

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It is the primary successful report for Cincinnati in a 162-game season because it went 90-72 in 2013. The Reds went 31-29 within the 60-game 2020 season.

Cincinnati travels to Chicago for a two-game collection in opposition to the American League Central champion White Sox, beginning Tuesday.