CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati played small ball better than Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, allowing the Reds to take another big step toward a division championship.
"I felt like it was a battle all night," Bailey said.
The Reds (87-57) scored both of their runs on outs while moving 30 games over .500 for the first time since they were 96-66 on Oct. 3, 1999. They widened their lead in the NL Central over second-place St. Louis to 11 1/2 games.
Manager Dusty Baker doesn't want to stop there.
"This was our fifth try at 30," he said. "We finally reached it. Now let's set the next goal for 35."
Cincinnati's win and the Cardinals' 3-2 loss at San Diego cut to eight the Reds' magic number for clinching the division. Any combination of Reds wins and Cardinals losses adding up to eight clinches the title for Cincinnati.
Bailey (11-9) allowed six hits and one run with two walks and four strikeouts to extend his career high in victories.
"It was awesome," said Hoover, one of the relievers filling in as closer while Aroldis Chapman deals with a tired shoulder. "It was a good adrenaline rush."