The Cincinnati Reds continued their dominance of the American League East on Sunday, picking up a 3-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles that also gave the Reds the series win. A go-ahead, pinch hit solo home run from Brandon Drury in the 8th was the deciding factor in the game. Cincinnati improved to 9-5 against the AL East and paperwork may or may not be being drawn up by the Reds lawyers to petition a move to the division beginning next year.
|Baltimore Orioles (51-51)
|Cincinnati Reds (40-61)
|W: Diaz (3-1) L: Bautista (3-3) SV: Farmer (1)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
There wasn’t much offense through the first five innings for either team. The Reds had four singles with none of those runners reaching second base. But things started going their way in the 6th when Jonathan India and Donovan Solano both walked to begin the inning. After Tommy Pham lined out, Joey Votto came through with a single through a big hole where the shortstop would traditionally play, but was nowhere to be found as the Orioles had a big shift on, allowing Jonathan India to score and put the Reds up 1-0. Brandon Drury came off of the bench to pinch hit for Mike Moustakas with lefty Cionel Perez on the mound and he would walk to load the bases. Kyle Farmer followed up with a sacrifice fly to make it a 2-0 ballgame.
After the Orioles got single runs in the 7th and 8th innings to tie the game up, there was work to be done for the Reds. Tommy Pham walked to lead off the 8th, but he was thrown out trying to steal second base with Joey Votto at the plate, who would eventually strike out. That brought Brandon Drury to the plate to face Felix Bautista and his 1.50 ERA on the season. No problem for Drury, who unloaded on a splitter that was down and in, and hit a go-ahead homer – his 20th home run of the season.
Nick Lodolo was dominant through the first three innings, giving up just an infield single. But in the 4th the Orioles started making some trouble as Anthony Santander singled and Austin Hayes followed up with a walk to put two men on with just one out. After a visit to the mound, the rookie left-hander settled in and got a pop up and a fly out to end the inning with no further damage done. Two innings later it was once again Santander starting something with a 2-out single and this time Hayes followed with a single of his own, but like before it was Lodolo who got things done as he struck out Ramon Urias to end the inning and hold the score at 0-0.
After Cincinnati scored two runs in the bottom of the 6th, Lodolo returned to the mound to begin the 7th. He walked the first batter he saw and was replaced by Joel Kuhnel. With the shift on, Rougned Odor singled on a grounder to no-man’s land. A fly ball out was deep enough to move a runner to third, and that came into play as a line drive into left field turned into a sacrifice fly to make it a 2-1 ballgame. David Bell then headed to the mound to call on Alexis Diaz with two outs, a runner on 1st base, and the top of the Baltimore lineup coming up. Diaz came through, striking out Trey Mancini to keep a 1-run lead in tact.
When Diaz returned for the 8th inning he got Adley Rutschman to fly out to start the inning. Anthony Santander almost flew out of the stadium, crushing a home run halfway up section 144 in right-center that tied the game up.
Buck Farmer took over for the 9th inning and thanks to a Brandon Drury homer in the bottom of the 8th, Farmer was looking at a save opportunity. Rougned Odor bunted for a single, or so that was the call on the field. The Reds challenged the play and they were correct as the call was overturned. Farmer then struck out Jorge Mateo before Terrin Vavra came off of the bench to pinch hit as the last hope for Baltimore. Vavra wasn’t going to go easily and worked an 8-pitch walk to turn the lineup over. Farmer ended the game by getting Trey Mancini to ground out as the Reds picked up the 3-2 win and grabbed a series victory in the process.
Notes Worth Noting
The outing was the longest for Nick Lodolo in his short big league career. He now has 4 walks and 16 strikeouts over his last two starts while allowing just one earned run in 12 innings.
Buck Garmer has pitched in 260 games in his career, almost exclusively out of the bullpen. Today he picked up his 1st career save.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs. Miami Marlins
Monday August 1st, 6:40pm ET
Hunter Greene (3-12, 5.59 ERA) vs TBA