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Dan Hudson Beats Division Leading Reds, 3-1

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: September 15, 2010
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Sept. 15, 2010

CINCINNATI -- At the latest installment of the Reds' "Bark in the Park" promotion Tuesday night, there seemed to be more strikeouts than dog biscuits being thrown around.

It was D-backs rookie righthander Daniel Hudson (ODU'08) that slapped the muzzle on the Reds' lineup for eight innings during a 3-1 loss at Great American Ball Park. Hudson gave up only four hits over eight scoreless innings with one walk and eight strikeouts.

Hudson is now 7-2 overall with a 2.58 ERA with 73 striketous in 80.1 innings of work.

"The young man, he was dealing over there," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He was dealing the last time we saw him too."

Even though the Reds lost, they still gained a little out of the evening. The second-place Cardinals dropped a 7-2 game to the Cubs to remain seven games back, and the magic number for Cincinnati to clinch the National League Central dropped to 12.

There were a total of 22 strikeouts recorded in the game, and Reds starter Travis Wood matched Hudson with a career-high eight of his own.

As he pounded away at the outside corner, Wood already had five strikeouts through his first three scoreless innings.

"They weren't seeing it well up there and I was able to put it there and get some strikeouts," Wood said. "But I just fell behind too much."

A five-hit Arizona fourth inning proved critical, even though most of the hits were flares and of the softer variety.

Three straight hits opened the top of fourth for Wood, with Mark Reynolds' single to right field scoring Chris Young for the game's first run. John Hester's one-out single put Wood in a bases-loaded jam before Hudson scorched an RBI single into right field.

In the fifth, Wood gave up a leadoff double to Tony Abreu before Justin Upton drove him in with a single into center field that put Wood and the Reds in a three-run hole.

"They weren't putting great contact on the ball, but hey, you don't have to," Wood said. "A hit is a hit. They were able to put some together and score some runs. They got me tonight."

Wood (5-3, 3.46 ERA) was charged with three runs on nine hits and allowed no walks. Over his past six starts, he is 2-2 with a 4.73 ERA.

As the Reds near clinching a postseason berth, it will be a tight battle for the rotation in the NL Division Series. While Bronson Arroyo and Johnny Cueto have the top two spots locked up, Wood has a good chance against Edinson Volquez and Homer Bailey for the remaining one or two spots. But Wood is also a rookie that has thrown a career-high 183 1/3 innings combined this season for the Reds and Triple-A Louisville.

"I try not to think about it," Wood said of his postseason roster status.

The Reds are the only team to beat Hudson -- on Aug. 17 -- since the Trade Deadline deal that sent him from the White Sox to D-backs. Since coming to the NL, he is 6-1 with a 1.67 ERA in nine starts.

No Reds batter touched third base all night while Hudson was pitching. They had runners on first and second with one out in the fourth before Jonny Gomes struck out and red-hot Jay Bruce flied out to end the inning.

Following pinch-hitter Yonder Alonso's two-out single in the fifth, Hudson retired the final 10 batters he faced.

Wood was nearly taken off of the hook during a spirited Reds comeback attempt in the bottom of the ninth with Hudson out of the game. Against reliever Juan Gutierrez, Orlando Cabrera led off with a lined single to center field and went to third on Joey Votto's long single off the right-field wall.

Gutierrez struck out Scott Rolen and Gomes, but issued a four-pitch walk to Bruce that loaded the bases. Drew Stubbs was hit on the hand by a 1-1 pitch to force home Cabrera and send up Ramon Hernandez.

On a 2-0 count, Gutierrez gave Hernandez a good fastball to hit and Hernandez blistered a line drive to the right-center-field gap.

"When I saw Ramon hit it I was like, 'Oh my God, I'm in trouble,'" Gutierrez said.

The Reds' hopes were dashed and Gutierrez was spared the doghouse when speedy right fielder Justin Upton ran down Hernandez's drive with a beautiful catch with an outstretched glove.

"I hit the ball good," Hernandez said. "The way I hit it, I thought it might be in the gap. Upton came out running and made a great, great play."

With Stubbs' speed at first base, it was definitely a game-saver for Arizona.

"Clutch man Monie almost did it again," Baker said. "He hit that ball right on the button. That was like a Hall of Fame play right there. I didn't think he had a chance to catch that ball. That ball was scalded. When I didn't see it deflect off his glove, the whole team, our hearts sank."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Mark My Word and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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