CINCINNATI (AP) Josh Bell homered twice - once left-handed and once right-handed - and drove in four runs, Bryan De La Cruz hit the go-ahead shot in the ninth and the Miami Marlins rallied late for a 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday.
Trailing 4-1, Bell became the first Miami player to homer from both sides of the plate in a game when he hit a game-tying three-run shot in the eighth inning before De La Cruz led off the ninth by going the opposite way to right field against Alexis Diaz (3-4). Bell gave the Marlins a 1-0 lead with a second-inning solo shot.
“It was huge," said the switch-hitting Bell, who homered from both sides of the plate in the same game for the first time since he was 11 years old. "I wasn’t sure it was going to go. I hit one to the warning track the last time up. It felt good.”
Reds manager David Bell came to the defense of Diaz.
“Alexis Diaz has had an incredible season for us - two seasons for us," Bell said. "You can’t be perfect. You can’t be expected to dominate every single time you go out there, especially for a young player. We expect adjustment. We expect development. We expect improvement. Our guys are working every day. ”
Graham Ashcraft pitched seven impressive innings, Christian Encarnacion-Strand homered and drove in three runs for the Reds, who have lost eight of their last nine games.
Spencer Steer also homered and Joey Votto had three hits for the Reds.
Tanner Scott (6-4) pitched the eighth and picked up the win. David Robertson allowed a hit before striking out Elly De La Cruz for his 17th save in 21 tries and third for the Marlins since being acquired in a trade with the New York Mets.
Ashcraft extended his recent run of effective outings, allowing one run and three hits with one walk and seven strikeouts over seven innings.
“It’s frustrating," Ashcraft said. “We’re playing the game really well. Guys are making quality pitches when we need them to and guys are taking quality at bats when we need them too. I don’t know, it’s baseball. It’s par for the course. There are times when you’re on top of the world. Nothing stops you. There’s times when you go out be excellent and still get beat.”
Former Red Johnny Cueto lasted five innings, giving up five hits and three runs with one walk and five strikeouts. Cueto went 92-63 with a 3.21 ERA in eight seasons in Cincinnati from 2008-15.
Bell, a trade deadline pickup from Cleveland, went opposite field with a 353-foot drive into the left field seats down the line for a 1-0 Miami lead in the fourth inning.
“Josh has been awesome, and not just with the home runs, but with his attention to detail," Miami manager Skip Schumaker said. "He’s super-engaged in the dugout. He’s been a vocal leader. He’s been the perfect fit for us.”
Steer tied it in the bottom of the inning with a two-out, 402-foot blast that caromed of the façade of the second deck in left field. After Votto reached on an infield single, Encarnacion-Strand gave the Reds a 3-1 lead with 390-foot shot into the lower level in left field.
Encarnacion-Strand added an RBI single in the sixth before the Marlins rallied. Miami moved ahead of the Reds, into fourth place in the NL wild-card standings, going into a, off day on Thursday.
Miami’s Jorge Soler and manager Skip Schumaker both were ejected in the eighth inning by plate umpire Bill Miller after Soler took called strike three and protested.
The start of the game was delayed 36 minutes by rain.
Marlins: RHP Tommy Nance (right shoulder sprain) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings in his first rehab appearance with Double-A Pensacola on Tuesday.
Reds: RHP Tejay Antone (right elbow surgery) threw 28 pitches over 1 1/3 innings in the fifth appearance of his rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday at St. Paul.
Marlins: LHP Jesús Luzardo (8-6) is the scheduled starter against the Yankees in the opener of a six-game homestand on Friday.
Reds: LHP Andrew Abbott (6-3) is the scheduled starter at Pittsburgh on Friday in the opener of a three-game trip.
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