The Cincinnati Reds took the series finale on Sunday from the Houston Astros, 9-7 in extra innings. The Reds continued to display a spirited brand of baseball. Showing a brand marked by aggressiveness on the bases and in the field as well.
Cincinnati, once again, mounted another comeback to win in dramatic fashion on Sunday. Reds’ starter Luke Weaver continued his struggles in the early stages of games as he gave up three runs in the first two innings. The Astros were hitting the ball with authority off Weaver, with six hits through the first 10 batters Weaver faced. Weaver would ultimately give up 10 hits in five innings pitched, striking out one Astro and walking two more.
After Matt McLain scored on a Jake Fraley single in the top of the sixth, Spencer Steer made his mark on the ballgame.
Steer tied the game at 5-5 with his deep blast to left field and the Reds would never trail again. Reliever Daniel Duarte held the Astros scoreless in his two innings of work. Duarte walked the first batter he faced, Alex Bergman, and proceeded to retire the next six Astros he faced in order.
Jonathan India hit an opposite-field home run in the top of the eighth to take the lead and Lucas Sims held serve in the bottom half to get the Reds into the ninth inning with a 6-5 lead. With Alexis Diaz unavailable, Reds manager David Bell handed the ball to Ian Gibaut.
Gibaut walked Kyle Tucker on five pitches to lead off the ninth. He bounced back and struck out Jose Abreu, who went 0-5 on the day, but unraveled from there. Gibaut gave up consecutive base hits to Yainer Diaz and Chas McCormick, allowing the tying run to score.
Jake Fraley came hard after both Diaz and McCormick’s singles to keep the baserunners from advancing any more than necessary. His efforts in the ninth may have saved this ball game for the Reds and symbolized the kind of energy Cincinnati is playing with right now.
David Bell elected to intentionally walk Jeremy Pena to load the bases and Gibaut promptly got the double play he needed from Corey Julks to escape the ninth with a fighting chance.
With Nick Senzel beginning the inning on second base, TJ Friedl laid down a sacrifice bunt that drew an errant throw from Alex Bregman, allowing Senzel to score. Three batters later, Elly de la Cruz worked a nine-pitch at-bat to an RBI single to right field, making it 8-6. Jake Fraley then grounded out to second base as de la Cruz stole, allowing Stuart Fairchild to score as well. The Reds took that 9-6 lead into the bottom of the tenth inning.
Alex Young came in looking for his first career MLB save. Young got two quick outs from Grae Kissinger and Mauricio Dubon, then allowed a line-drive single to right field from Alex Bregman. The southpaw then got the lefty-on-lefty matchup he wanted against the Astros’ top hitter, Kyle Tucker. Young had Tucker on the ropes and finished the game with a popout to Nick Senzel.
Who is next?
The Reds head back to Cincinnati for a six-game homestand on their longest win streak since 2012. They will face the Colorado Rockies and the Atlanta Braves as they search for their fifth and sixth straight series wins.
Scheduled to pitch against Colorado are Brandon Williamson, Ben Lively and Andrew Abbott. With the way Abbott has pitched to begin his career, the Reds will aggressively go after the first two games, knowing that Abbott’s hot hand should keep them in Wednesday’s game.
It has been heavily rumored that Joey Votto will make his season debut in Cincinnati on Monday as well. The Reds are getting hot at the right time and reinforcements are still on the way. The Milwaukee Brewers sit just 1/2 game ahead of the Reds for first place in the NL Central.
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Featured image courtesy of Reds.com
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