CINCINNATI (AP) Joey Votto got mobbed at home plate and then doused with a water cooler, a rare joyous moment in his subpar season.
Votto homered with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning on Tuesday night, powering the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-6 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals after they blew a five-run lead for the second straight game.
Votto connected off left-hander Kevin Siegrist (4-1) for his fifth career game-ending homer and Cincinnati's third homer of the game. The Reds have won five of their last six games overall. This one was especially satisfying for Votto, who started the game batting .221.
''I'm hitting .220 and it's June,'' Votto said. ''I am frustrated, and we're losing a lot. Today, we didn't lose. That's a good feeling.''
Another one almost slipped away. They blew a five-run lead and lost to the Nationals 10-9 in their last game. This one nearly followed the same script until Votto homered on a 2-0 pitch.
''That was special,'' manager Bryan Price said. ''Siegrist has been hard on us since he came into the league - on everybody, really. Joey took advantage of a 2-0 pitch and brought us to this place. It's a nice place to be.''
Cincinnati pulled ahead 6-1 with the help of Adam Duvall's three-run homer off Mike Leake, his fourth homer in five games. The Reds got Duvall from the Giants as part of a trade for Leake last July, and the right-hander signed with St. Louis in the offseason.
Left-hander John Lamb shut down the Cardinals with his 65 mph curveball, allowing only one earned run in a career-high 7 1/3 innings. That's when the major leagues' worst bullpen let another late lead get away.
Blake Wood gave up Jhonny Peralta's bases-loaded double in the eighth, cutting it to 6-4. Matt Carpenter tied it with a one-out, two-run double in the ninth off Tony Cingrani (1-2), the Reds' 12th blown save in 19 chances this season.
Carpenter tried to stretch his hit to a triple, setting up a potential go-ahead run, and was initially ruled safe at third, but the call was overturned after a review.
''You don't feel good about a comeback unless you win,'' Carpenter said.
Duvall hit his 17th homer off Leake, the second-highest total in the NL. He hit his first career homer off Leake with the Giants in 2014. In its last seven games, Cincinnati has scored 62 runs.
HITS KING HOMECOMING
Pete Rose watched from a seat behind home plate and got an ovation from the 24,182 fans when he was shown on the scoreboard after the seventh inning. He'll be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame later this month.
Brandon Phillips had a single, extending his hitting streak to 10 games. It matches Zack Cozart for longest by a Red this season. He also had two errors in an inning for the only the second time. ... Billy Hamilton had an infield single and stole two bases in the eighth inning. He's 12 for 13 in career steal attempts off Yadier Molina. ... Matt Adams extended his hitting streak to seven games.
The Cardinals activated Peralta off the DL and started him at third base. He had two doubles in four at-bats.
The Reds optioned RHP Jon Moscot to Triple-A Louisville after two rough starts. OF Steve Selsky was called up, giving the Reds another option off the bench. Reserve Jordan Pacheco has been limited by a sore shoulder.
Cardinals: C Brayan Pena started a rehab assignment with Double-A Springfield. Pena hurt his left knee and had surgery during spring training. ... RHP Seth Maness, who's on the DL with a sore pitching elbow, will start a rehab assignment at Springfield on Wednesday.
Reds: RHP Anthony DeSclafani threw in the bullpen without a problem. He's on track to make his first start of the season on Friday against Oakland. He's been on the DL all season with a strained oblique.
Cardinals: LHP Jaime Garcia is 10-4 career against the Reds, matching Oliver Perez for the most victories over Cincinnati by an active pitcher.
Reds: Alfredo Simon is 3-1 in his career against the Cardinals, winning his last two decisions.
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