Cordero locks down save No. 300

Cordero locks down save No. 300

CINCINNATI -- Francisco Cordero always tilts his head back and points both index fingers to the sky when he records a save. After Cincinnati's 4-3 come-from-behind victory over Milwaukee on Wednesday night, the Reds closer was even more animated than usual.

Cordero became the 22nd pitcher in Major League history to record 300 saves after tossing a 1-2-3 ninth inning against the Brewers, for whom Cordero notched 60 of his saves over two seasons before coming to Cincinnati in 2008. Upon striking out Craig Counsell to end the game Wednesday, Cordero hopped up and down on the mound and pounded his glove with his fist before beginning his usual post-save routine -- a ritual he does to honor his late mother, Martina, who passed away at the age of 60 before the 2009 season.

After walking off the mound, Cordero received several hugs from members of the team, including manager Dusty Baker.

"I told him that was for his momma," Baker said after the game. "When he points to the sky, that is who it's for. I know how he feels. I'm just glad for him, and there's a little added incentive enjoying it against your former club."

Cordero started the frame by getting Jonathan Lucroy to chase a 1-2 fastball in the dirt. He then helped his own cause, knocking down a line drive off the bat of Yuniesky Betancourt to set up an easy out before finishing the game off against Counsell.

"That's amazing," Cordero said. "I have such a good feeling right now that I can't even explain. I'm going to just go home and wait for a lot of phone calls from family, friends and a lot of people who were waiting. I've already been told by somebody down in Dominica that they're having a party at my house."

Cordero later added that he had received plenty of calls from his friends back home during the past week about when he would finally get save No. 300. He recorded his 299th save against Philadelphia on May 24th. The next day, he had a chance at the milestone, but he gave up a solo home run to Ryan Howard in what became a 19-inning loss for the Reds.

Cordero also pitched against Atlanta on Friday and Milwaukee on Monday, but he was not eligible for a save in either appearance because Cincinnati was leading by four runs both times.

Of Cordero's 300 saves, 123 have come with the Reds, making him third on the team's all-time list. Danny Graves sits at the top with 182. Wednesday's save also tied Cordero with Bruce Sutter for 21st on the MLB all-time list.

"It's a big number," Cordero said. "I don't know what to say. I'm just so excited and I'm really happy. I'm glad that this is out of the way. Now I can just focus and get more saves and help my team."

Tyler Jett is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.