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Mesoraco hits grand slam in Reds' win over Marlins

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 10, 2014 at 4:24 pm •  Published: August 10, 2014
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CINCINNATI (AP) — Brayan Pena's tight hamstring gave Devin Mesoraco a chance to be the star.

Mesoraco homered twice, including his third grand slam of the season, and drove in a career-high six runs as the Cincinnati Reds salvaged the finale of a three-game series against the Miami Marlins with a 7-2 victory on Sunday.

Pena normally catches when Johnny Cueto pitches, but Reds manager Bryan Price determined he wasn't ready. So Mesoraco was in the lineup on Sunday afternoon after a night game.

"Devin took a foul ball off his arm yesterday but I had the good sense not to ask him about it before I made the lineup," Price said. "If there is any point in time that you run him out there, it is now when he's 26."

Brad Hand walked Todd Frazier with the bases loaded in the fifth to break a 2-all tie. Mesoraco followed with his second of the game and 20th of the season, a 371-foot drive into the left-field seats.

Mesoraco leads all major league catchers in home runs and the National League in grand slams. He is 6 for 7 (.857) with the bases loaded and is the sixth player in Reds history to hit three slams in one season — the first since Chris Sabo in 1993.

"When guys are in scoring position, your focus gets a little better," Mesoraco said. "I saw that guys weren't giving into to him (Hand) and I was looking for a pitch that I could hit and not miss it."

The fifth-inning outburst gave Cueto (14-6) some breathing room. In eight innings, he allowed five hits — two homers — with two walks and nine strikeouts. He improved to 6-0 in his last seven starts.

Hand (2-4) allowed five hits and seven runs with three walks — all in the fifth — and two strikeouts.

"He just couldn't get through the fifth," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "It came down to offense from one guy."

Giancarlo Stanton, the NL's home run and RBIs leader, lined his 29th homer with two outs in the first for a 1-0 Miami lead.

Right-fielder Jay Bruce made a leaping catch in the eighth to rob Stanton of a second homer.

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