NEW YORK -- As well as Homer Bailey pitched for the Reds, and despite a semi-comfortable lead thanks to a Joey Votto three-run home run, Saturday's 6-5 win over the Yankees proved the undeniable fact.
There are rarely easy victories to be had over the home team in the Bronx.
It got hairy as a three-run lead in the ninth nearly evaporated before the Reds held on by the skin of their teeth.
"I could have done without the drama, but we won the game," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Anybody that's come in here and played the Yankees knows how the Yankees are here. They have the ability to come back and believe that they can come back. They can strike very quickly."
For the second time in 10 days, Reds closer Sean Marshall was roughed up and exited a game before completing a save. Marshall gave up four hits and two runs in the ninth. While Marshall was effective with his slow curveball, his fastball wasn't fooling anyone.
Raul Ibanez doubled to the wall in right field leading off and scored on a lined RBI single to center field by Nick Swisher. A one-out single by Andruw Jones put runners on the corners and the potential winning run at the plate. Jayson Nix rolled an RBI single through the left side and made it a one-run game, finishing Marshall.
Taking over, reliever Jose Arredondo got a first-pitch fielder's-choice grounder to third base from Derek Jeter, who barely beat the relay throw to first base to avoid the game-ending double play. Arredondo ran a 3-0 count to Curtis Granderson, but on a full count, he got a routine ground ball to first base to notch his first Major League save against two formidable batters."I felt really good, because I've never had the opportunity to save a game before," Arredondo said through an interpreter. "My plan was to get ground balls, and that way we could complete the double play and get out of the game."
Watching the ninth unfold from a clubhouse television, Bailey's strong afternoon was rewarded with his second win of the season. He pitched 6 1/3 innings and gave up three runs and seven hits, with one walk and seven strikeouts. There were two solo home runs on opposite-field shots -- one by Russell Martin leading off in the third inning and the other by Nix, who went deep to right field with two outs in the fifth.
"I pitched a good game," said Bailey, who has quality outings in five of his last six starts. "At parks like this, especially in right field, it's hard to keep the ball in. If you're going to give them up, make sure no one is on."
It was Bailey's first time pitching at Yankee Stadium and against the Yankees.
"I'd be lying if I said the anticipation wasn't there," Bailey said. "The first couple of pitches, it looked like the plate was 100 feet away. After the second or third pitch, it was, 'All right, now we're back to normal.' There's so much history that comes with this organization and a great lineup. Once you start getting into the game, adrenaline kicks in and you're thinking about competing, it doesn't really matter who is in the box."
Yankees starter Ivan Nova racked up a career-high 12 strikeouts over six innings, with his first seven outs coming via the K. But when the Reds put the ball in play -- they certainly made things happen. Nova also gave up five runs on seven hits with two walks.
Nova retired seven in a row until the Reds rallied in the top of the fifth. Wilson Valdez hit a leadoff single and Chris Heisey reached on an infield hit to third base. After Heisey was out on a force play at second base, Votto sent a 2-1 Nova pitch into the first row of seats in right field for a three-run homer and a 5-2 Cincinnati lead.
"It was fun the way it ended," Votto said. "It was a little bit nerve-racking at the end, but it's part of wins and losses. It was nice for Jose to come in and pick us up."
Bailey gave up two singles in the seventh, but Logan Ondrusek worked out of the jam. Aroldis Chapman struck out two over a 1-2-3 eighth inning.
It was a 5-3 game in the top of the eighth when Mike Costanzo, who had his first big league hit in the sixth, lifted a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Brandon Phillips. It certainly proved to be a pivotal run.
"I tell the guys all the time that you never know which run you score will be the game-winner," Baker said. "Costanzo's sacrifice fly was real big."
The Reds are 3-3 during their seven-game road trip, including 2-2 vs. the Mets and Yankees during the five-game swing through New York that ends on Sunday.
"We just didn't get the last hit that we needed to try to put them away," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It's good that we were able to come back, but it's frustrating that you get so close and you lose."