Joey Votto hit a 2-run home run in the 1st inning, but the Reds offense failed to score again after that. But it was Cincinnati’s bullpen allowing four runs in the top of the 9th inning that helped seal the fate in the game in a 6-2 loss that dropped the Reds to 38-61 on the season.
Jonathan India led off the 1st inning with a double and he moved up to third base later in the inning on a wild pitch. Joey Votto came through with a 2-run homer into the first row of seats in right field to put Cincinnati on top 2-0. There was not much going for the offense until 6th when Tommy Pham walked and Kyle Farmer was hit by a pitch to put two men on with two outs. The Orioles made a pitching change to bring in former Red Cionel Perez to face lefty Mike Moustakas, but David Bell countered by bringing Donovan Solano off of the bench as a pinch hitter. Perez still got the job done, striking out Solano to end the threat.
In the 7th inning the Reds tried to get a 2-out rally going when Michael Papierski walked and Jonathan India singled. With Brandon Drury at the plate a wild pitch led to the runners taking off for the next base and the throw to third beat Papierski by a mile, but he did a swim move at third and was called safe. The Orioles challenged the call and won, ending the inning and keeping the game tied up at 2-2.
Baltimore grabbed the lead in the top of the 9th inning with a 4-run inning, leaving the Cincinnati offense with some work to do if they wanted to come out of this one with a victory. They couldn’t get anything going as they went down in order.
After retiring the batters in order in the 1st, Mike Minor ran into some trouble in the 2nd. Two singles had runners on the corners with one out, but the lefty induced a pop up and a fly out to strand both runners and hold a 2-0 lead. He’d only allow two walks over the next three innings as he was in control of the Orioles hitters. But it was a walk in the 6th inning that would come back to haunt him as Anthony Santander followed that walk with a game-tying 2-run homer. That pitch would be his last, exiting after 5.1 innings with four strikeouts and those two earned runs.
Joel Kuhnel came out and retired the final two batters of the 6th, and he returned to get out the first hitter of the 7th inning. Reiver Sanmartin entered the game there and got out the first batter he faced, but Jorge Mateo tripled with two outs to put the go-ahead run just 90 feet away. A mound visit followed and whatever was said worked as Sanmartin got Cedric Mullins to fly out to end the inning. Ian Gibaut came out for the 8th and he allowed a single and walk to begin the inning. Another mound visit seemed to do the trick because he got a strikeout before back-to-back fly outs to end the inning and keep the game tied at 2-2.
Buck Farmer entered the game for the 9th inning and he walked the first batter and then allowed a double to Rougned Odor to put runners on 2nd and 3rd. Farmer got a fly out to shallow center that kept the runners where they were. The next pitch didn’t work as well as Cedric Mullens single up the middle past a drawn in infield to plate both runners and put the Orioles up 4-2. Mullens stole second, and then Adley Rutschman walked. Trey Mancini then hit a ball back up the middle and as Jonathan India reached down for the ball on the move, the ball hit the second base bag and trickled into the outfield to bring in another run for Baltimore.
Dauri Moreta came into the game at that point with runners on the corners and one out. His first pitch hit Anthony Santander and he took exception to it and chirped to Moreta, who chirped back. Catcher Michael Papierski got in front of Santander and both benches and bullpens got onto the field, but nothing more took place and the game got back to normal with the bases loaded. A sacrifice fly made it 6-2. That was all they’d get, but it was more than enough to get the job done as the Orioles took the first game of the weekend series.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Baltimore Orioles vs Cincinnati Reds
Saturday July 30th, 6:40pm ET
Dean Kremer (3-2, 3.06 ERA) vs Tyler Mahle (4-7, 4.48 ERA)