The Spencer Steer show was on for everyone to enjoy on Friday night. Making his big league debut he got on base four times, homered, and he scored the winning run in the bottom of the 9th inning as the Cincinnati Reds topped the Colorado Rockies 3-2 at Great American Ball Park.
Jonathan India wasted no time extending his hitting streak to 15 games with a single to lead off the bottom of the 1st, but he was erased on a fielders choice when Nick Senzel grounded the ball to third. Kyle Farmer followed with a single of his own. After a fly out moved Senzel to third he was caught up when Farmer tried to steal second and would have been thrown out by 15 feet, so he broke for home and was caught up in a run down that eventually resulted in him being tagged out at third base.
In the second inning the Reds threatened with two outs after Spencer Steer drew a walk in his first big league plate appearance and Jose Barrero singled into left field, but they would be stranded there after a ground out ended the inning. No one reached base again until the top of the 5th when Steer came up to lead off the inning and he hit a 407 foot home run in what was officially his first at-bat. The homer cut the Rockies lead to 2-1. Barrero would add another single and Jonathan India would single later in the inning, too, but Nick Senzel lined out to center to end the inning.
Two innings later it was another leadoff home run for the Reds, this time when Jake Fraley came off of the bench to pinch hit for Chuckie Robinson and crushed a 422 foot homer into the right field stands to tie the game up at 2-2.
After going in order in the 8th inning the Reds came to the plate in the 9th with the game all tied up and Spencer Steer looking to keep his day at the plate perfect after drawing two walks and homering earlier in the game. Steer did just that as he doubled down the right field line to put the winning run in scoring position. That brought Jose Barrero to the plate who attempted to bunt the ball twice and failed before eventually striking out. Jake Fraley followed and on a 2-1 pitch Alex Colome threw one in the dirt to the backstop and Steer moved up to third base. That led the Rockies to intentionally walk Fraley to bring Jonathan India to the plate and bring in a 5th infielder. On the 7th pitch of the at-bat, India reached out and hit a high chopper that led to Garret Hampson having to leap to keep it on the infield, which he did, but by the time he landed there was nothing he could do as Steer had crossed the plate and India had reached first base for the walk-off win.
Luis Cessa was perfect through the first two innings of the game, but with one out in the third Elias Diaz singled into right field and a pitch later the shutout was gone as Sean Bouchard homered into the left field seats to put the Rockies up 2-0. Cessa had to work around a walk in both the 4th and 5th innings, but he did just that and kept Colorado’s lead at 2-0.
After Spencer Steer homered in the bottom of the 5th it was another rookie making his debut who took the time to shine. Fernando Cruz took the mound for his Major League debut to begin the 6th after spending 16 seasons in minor league, independent league, and winter league baseball. He came out and made it look easy, throwing a perfect inning with two strikeouts on just 12 pitches.
Joel Kuhnel threw a scoreless 7th inning with two strikeouts and then Buck Farmer tossed a hitless 8th inning. With the game tied up heading into the 9th inning manager David Bell called on Alexis Diaz to enter the game. C.J. Cron had a 1-out single and moved up to second base on a wild pitch with two outs to put the go-ahead run in scoring position for the Rockies. It didn’t matter as Randal Grichuk flew out to center to end the top of the inning and put the Reds in position to win the game in walk-off fashion. They did just that, capping a huge day for big leaguers making their debut for Cincinnati.
Notes Worth Noting
Spencer Steer was the first Reds player to debut and reach base at least four times since Jay Bruce did it in 2008.
Speaking of rookies and debuts….. you can’t possibly make this up and it’s incredible.
Newest Reds reliever Fernando Cruz is the son-in-law of former Red Luis Quinones.
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) September 2, 2022
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Colorado Rockies vs Cincinnati Reds
Saturday September 3rd, 6:40pm ET
German Marquez (7-10, 4.97 ERA) vs Nick Lodolo (3-5, 4.30 ERA)