Reds beat the Chicago Cubs and move to second in NL Central standings

When the Cincinnati Reds lost on Tuesday by one run, the difference was the highlight play that Reds first baseman Joey Votto just missed in the first inning. A sharp ground ball down the first base line barely got past a diving Votto and his outstretched glove.

Even though it would have been a difficult play to make, Votto took more infield practice than any of the Reds starters over the next few days. Facing the Chicago Cubs on Saturday at Great American Ball Park, Votto stepped up with one of his best defensive plays of the season.

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By turning an acrobatic double play in the top of the seventh inning, Votto prevented the Cubs from taking the lead. And then Votto scored the go-ahead run on Saturday as the Reds beat the Cubs, 3-2.

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) hits a single during the third inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Saturday, July 3, 2021, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

With the score tied in the top of the seventh inning and a runner on third base, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo hit a high chopper to first base. Votto leapt, snagged the ball with the webbing of his glove and got the force out at second base.

Votto then returned to cover first base, and shortstop Kyle Farmer made the throw to Votto for an inning-ending double play that kept the runner at third from scoring. After making the play, Votto flexed and shouted in front of a cheering crowd of 36,815 fans.

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