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MIA@CIN: Reds walk off on Rolen's ninth-inning single

CINCINNATI -- The way Scott Rolen was talking, you'd think he was lousy at pinch-hitting. Games like Sunday's certainly proved again that's not really the case.

Rested from the lineup, Rolen's RBI infield single as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the ninth scored Drew Stubbs to give the Reds a thrilling 6-5 come-from-behind win over the Marlins and two of three in the series.

"I said, 'Scotty, get ready,'" Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He said, 'I'm already ready.' Scotty knows what to do."

Rolen would not have had an opportunity to come through if several others hadn't done likewise in front of him. First, there was lefty reliever Aroldis Chapman, who delivered two scoreless innings of one-hit relief with three strikeouts to hold Miami's 5-4 lead.

"Chapman had a masterful two innings," Baker said.

Leading off the Cincinnati ninth against closer Heath Bell in his first save situation as a Marlin, Jay Bruce sent a 2-1 fastball into the first row of seats in left-center field for his third homer of the season and his second of the day.

"He's one of the best closers in the game," Bruce said. "I got a pitch I could handle and put a good swing on it. I try to stay over the plate. I have an approach I've really worked on. That kind of fell into place and I was able to make a good move on it."

Entering the inning, Bell's 0.90 career ERA vs. the Reds was his lowest against any team he has faced at least 15 times. It would go up some more after Bruce took a curtain call from fans.

With one out, Stubbs chopped a single off of the outstretched glove of third baseman Hanley Ramirez. As Ryan Hanigan lined a single through the right side, Stubbs hustled hard to third base to put runners on the corner and severe pressure on the Marlins.

Miami's infield and outfield were playing shallow as Rolen scorched a hard grounder to Ramirez, who could not cleanly come up with the ball. He was scrambling on his knees to pick it up as Stubbs scored without a throw home. After reaching first base, Rolen was mobbed by celebrating teammates.

"I came in here, they gave me a job to get the final three outs, and I didn't do it," Bell said. "For me to go out there and just blow it in one inning is really stupid. They don't deserve anything like that. I need to be more accountable and I need to be better than that."

Although he rarely performs the task over 17 seasons, Rolen is 8-for-18 (.444) lifetime as a pinch-hitter, with four homers and 10 RBIs.

"It's certainly not easy," Rolen said. "It's not something you're used to. Everybody says 'cold.' But as soon as you realize you're in the game, your blood pressure goes through the roof. You're not really cold. You get circulation in a hurry. It's like a starting pitcher going to the bullpen. You have time to prepare. You're nerves go up and down and such. It's not easy on the guys that do it, like [Miguel] Cairo and everybody. They're great at it. I'm not sure that's my job."

Reds starter Bronson Arroyo pitched 6 1/3 innings with five runs (four earned) and 10 hits. Arroyo did not walk anyone and had four strikeouts with a hit batsman during the top of the seventh inning that would help undo what was a nice afternoon.

Arroyo hit Greg Dobbs on the left knee to begin the seventh. In quick fashion, three of the next four batters reached on hits, including pinch-hitter Chris Coghlan's RBI double and Emilio Bonifacio's RBI single to right field through a shallow infield for the go-ahead run.

"Other than the seventh inning, I was happy with the way I went out and threw strikes," Arroyo said. "I commanded every pitch, kept my pitch count down and pretty much did what I wanted to do all day. I hit Dobbs there to lead off the seventh, and sometimes you can't put the lid back on that thing."

The big Marlins seventh almost made a winner out of Carlos Zambrano in his first big league start since Aug. 12, 2011, with the Cubs. After he gave up three first-inning runs, Zambrano retired 16 out of 17 batters before Bruce slugged his first homer of the game. It was a solo shot to right field with two outs in the sixth, and it gave Cincinnati a short-lived two-run lead.

"We figured we'd score some more, which we did," Baker said. "I wished we hadn't waited until the ninth, but I guess it was better than never."

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