Amid a heated National League wild card race, the Cincinnati Reds have lost four straight series and five of their last six. That is not what you want to see this time of year. Scoreboard watching comes into play now for the Padres and Astros game.
The Reds are now just 4-8 over their last four series. Luckily, the San Diego Padres are 4-7 during the same span pending the outcome to Sunday evening’s game. We will continue to preach perspective because all that matters are those wild card standings.
Cincinnati will begin a nine-game road trip on Monday with the opening of a three-game series at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs. First pitch is scheduled for 2:20 p.m. Eastern Time with Sonny Gray on the mound. One piece of good news is that nine of the next 15 games are against either the Cubs or Pirates. The Reds must take advantage of their favorable schedule.
Reds Hammered 15-5 to Open Series
Every pitcher that David Bell turned to on Friday night got shelled. Well, besides Tony Santillan and oddly enough Max Schrock. In total, the Cincinnati pitching staff allowed 15 runs on 18 hits on their way to getting blown out.
It was an early and often type of night for the Detroit Tigers at the plate. They plated two runs in the top of the second inning to get the scoring started and then went deep in both the third and the fourth. Jonathan Schoop hit the long ball in the third inning followed by Jeimer Candelario in the fourth.
The ball was leaving the yard on the Reds’ side early on as well. Eugenio Suarez hit a home run in the second inning to put Cincy on the board. Then, in the fifth inning, Jonathan India briefly got the Reds back in the game with a two-run shot to center. India’s blast brought the Reds within one run at 4-3.
That comeback would prove to be very short-lived. In the top of the sixth, the Tigers broke the game open with six runs and ballooned their lead to 10-3.
Detroit would go deep two more times in the seventh inning to extend their lead to 14-4. Robbie Grossman’s three-run home run served as the final nail in the proverbial coffin.
In the end, the Tigers came away with a 15-5 blowout victory. As we’ve mentioned before though, this time of year is all about perspective. The Padres lost as well which allowed the Reds to maintain a half-game lead in the wild card race.
Bounce Back Victory Evens Series
An exciting third inning provided most of the firepower on both sides Saturday evening. Detroit got two runners on via a double and a walk with one out off of Tyler Mahle. Then, Eric Haase blasted a three-run home run to put the visiting Tigers on top 3-0.
The Reds wasted no time answering the bell in the bottom half of the third. Joey Votto started the scoring rally with an RBI single to right field and was followed by a Eugenio Suarez sacrifice fly. Kyle Farmer then reached on an infield single that moved Votto up to second base. That brought Aristides Aquino to the plate and “The Punisher” came through in a big way. Aquino turned on one and sent it over the left-field fence for a three-run, go-ahead home run. The five-spot in the inning brought the Reds on top 5-3.
Tyler Mahle walked in a run in the fifth inning that allowed the Tigers back within one at 5-4. It was a struggle on the mound for Mahle as he walked five guys in his five innings while allowing four runs. He would earn the win though thanks to great run support and an excellent showing from the Reds bullpen.
Tyler Naquin tacked on two huge insurance runs in the seventh inning with a two-RBI triple to extend the lead to 7-4. The bullpen held things down the rest of the way with four combined innings between Lucas Sims, Michael Lorenzen, and Mychal Givens. The trio allowed just two hits while striking out four in relief.
Bats Go Cold, Reds Lose Series
Make it four straight series losses for the Reds. After Sunday afternoon’s 4-1 rubber match loss the Reds are in jeopardy of falling behind the San Diego Padres pending the outcome of their game tonight. It is all about scoreboard watching now.
Luis Castillo pitched well enough to give his team a chance to win, but a costly error by Joey Votto and a lack of run support cost the Reds yet another series. Castillo would go six innings allowing three runs, only one earned, and seven strikeouts.
After a 0-0 pitcher’s duel through five innings, the Tigers struck for three runs in the sixth to pull ahead of the Reds. With a runner at second base and one out, Robbie Grossman rolled one just to the right of Joey Votto at first base. The ball got by Votto and India couldn’t save the day which placed runners at the corners. Jeimer Candelario quickly made Votto and the Reds pay for the mistake with a bases clearing triple. The Tigers added a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0 in the middle of the sixth.
Detroit tacked on another one in the top of the eighth before the Reds finally threatened in the bottom half of the inning. A leadoff walk by Max Schrock was followed by a fielder’s choice and a single by Jonathan India putting runners on the corners with one away. Schrock scored via a wild pitch and Asdrubal Cabrera walked to bring the meat of the order to the plate for a chance to make some noise. However, Nick Castellanos and Joey Votto both struck out to kill the rally.
The 4-1 loss dropped the Reds to a 4-8 record in their last four series.