PHOENIX (AP) — Joey Votto and Josh VanMeter homered, Luis Castillo pitched five solid innings and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3 on Friday night.
The Diamondbacks lost their sixth straight to tumble further out of the NL wild card race. They won 11 out of 12 from Aug. 25-Sept. 7 to pull within 1½ games of the second wild card spot, but are now 4½ behind the Chicago Cubs with just 14 to play.
Votto, who turned 36 earlier this week, gave the Reds a 2-0 lead in the third inning when he hit a two-run homer over the left field wall. It was his 15th of the season.
The Diamondbacks pulled within 2-1 in the fourth before VanMeter launched a two-out, two-run homer to extend the Reds’ lead. Both runs were unearned because of an error by second baseman Wilmer Flores.
Raisel Iglesias pitched a scoreless ninth, working around Ketel Marte’s two-out double, for his 30th save.
Castillo (15-6) gave up two runs over five innings, striking out three to push his season total to 211. The Reds have won four of his last five starts.
Mike Leake (11-11) threw six innings for the Diamondbacks, giving up five hits and four runs (two earned).
Cincinnati shortstop José Iglesias made two phenomenal defensive plays, including one that saved a run.
The first was when the 29-year-old leapt to grab Adam Jones’ liner that seemed headed for the left-center field gap. The second was when he dove to grab Christian Walker’s hard grounder before turning to make the throw and get the third out at second base, which stranded Ketel Marte at third.
The Diamondbacks announced before the game that they’ve extended the contract of GM Mike Hazen.
The team didn’t release details of the extension. The 43-year-old was hired in 2016 and has kept the Diamondbacks competitive in the NL Western Division, though they’ve finished behind the Dodgers each year.
Hazen’s name had been linked to the GM opening with the Boston Red Sox after they fired Dave Dombrowski. Hazen worked in the Red Sox front office before being hired by the Diamondbacks.
Diamondbacks: Luke Weaver (4-3, 3.03 ERA) threw two scoreless innings on Friday in a rehab assignment in Single-A Visalia. The right-hander hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since May 26 because of forearm tightness.
Reds: RHP Anthony DeSclafani (9-8, 4.06 ERA) is scheduled to start. He’s pitched at least six innings in each of his last four outings and has a 2-1 record with a 2.32 ERA over his last five starts.
Diamondbacks: RHP Merrill Kelly (10-14, 4.68) will start for the first time against the Reds. Kelly’s spot rotation was in peril a few weeks ago, but he’s been better in his last two outings, giving up three earned runs over 13 innings.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports