Cincinnati Reds' run has been unlikely

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Cincinnati Reds' Zack Cozart, left, congratulates Drew Stubbs as he crosses home plate after hitting a two-run home run off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez in the fifth inning of the Reds' 7-2 victory in a baseball game in Denver on Sunday.  DAVID ZALUBOWSKI/ASSOCIATED PRESS
DAVID ZALUBOWSKI/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Cincinnati Reds' Zack Cozart, left, congratulates Drew Stubbs as he crosses home plate after hitting a two-run home run off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez in the fifth inning of the Reds' 7-2 victory in a baseball game in Denver on Sunday.

CINCINNATI — When Joey Votto had knee surgery, the Cincinnati Reds faced a turning point. An offense that had been so-so was going to have to get along without its best hitter for about a month.

How have the Reds responded? With one of the best surges in franchise history.

The Reds had won 10 in a row before Monday’s 11-5 loss to San Diego.

It was only the eighth time in club history that the team had won 10 in a row.

At 61-41, they’re a half-game behind Washington in the race for the best record in the majors.

And it hasn’t been a matter of one or two players getting hot.

“Every man on the roster has done an absolutely great job,” outfielder Jay Bruce said. “Everyone understands their role and has embraced it and is doing whatever they can, and it’s really showing.”

The offense has come around without Votto, going 11-3since an MRI found torn cartilage in his left knee that required surgery. He’s expected to miss about a month overall.

Before Monday, they hadn’t lost since July 18, the day after Votto’s surgery. They swept Milwaukee at Great American, knocking the defending division champs out of contention, then won three at Houston and three more at Colorado.

No one expected that without Votto in the lineup.

“You can dream it, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to happen,” manager Dusty Baker said. “I dream all the time.”


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