Joey Votto was just trying to hit the ball deep enough to get the run in from third. He overshot his goal by about 20 feet.

Votto’s two-run home run in the eighth inning lifted the Reds to a 4-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians before a sellout crowd of 38,822 at Great American Ball Park. Votto was 0-for-3 and thoroughly frustrated going into the at-bat.

But he is, after all, Joey Votto.

“You never count that guy out, whether he’s frustrated or had two previous bad at-bats,” starter Mike Leake said.

With first base open, a lot of managers would have walked Votto.

“We’re not a lot of teams,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “Every manager is different. We could have first and third and bring in (right-hander Bryan) Shaw and all of a sudden you’ve got a guy up who can run. We elected to pitch to Votto and if we walked him, that wouldn’t have been the end of the world ... That wasn’t the outcome we were looking for.

“I don’t second guess another manager,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Terry is a very fine manager. I’m sure he had his reasons. You’ve got to take a shot at some point in time in the game. Joey won that time.”

Votto expected the Indians would pitch to him. He was concentrating on how left-hander Nick Hagadone would pitch to him.

Shin-Soo Choo led off the eighth with a single. He took second on a passed ball. Zack Cozart bunted Choo to third.

“I hit that home run because of Choo and because of Cozart,” Votto said. “I wouldn’t have gotten those pitches to hit. Because there was a man on third base, I imagine he wasn’t very comfortable throwing that curveball. He had bounced one or two. Scoring a run like that is not ideal for the Indians.

“I was most likely going to see fastballs in a part of the zone where I could put the ball in play with Brandon (Phillips) behind me. Cozart with that big bunt made the at-bat a little more predictable for me.”