Votto, VanMeter go deep, Reds beat sinking Diamondbacks 4-3

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).

WEB GEMS

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.

UP NEXT

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.

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