For the second day in a row the Cincinnati Reds rally late in the game fell just short. The Atlanta Braves held on for a 7-6 win on Sunday afternoon in front of what the Reds are calling a sell out crowd of 40,140. The Braves took the final two games of the series to take the victory in the 3-game set.
|Atlanta Braves (50-27)
|Cincinnati Reds (41-37)
|W: Morton (7-6) L: Wynne (0-1) SV: Iglesias (12)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Levi Stoudt got some early help from his defense as Nick Senzel made a nice sliding grab on a hard grounder from Ronald Acuna Jr. and fired across the diamond to record the out. But two batters later Senzel threw the ball by Spencer Steer at first to extend the inning, and give Austin Riley second base. Stoudt needed two pitches to get Matt Olson to pop up to end the inning.
TJ Friedl led off the bottom of the 1st inning with a walk and he then stole second base. Spencer Steer hit a flare into center, but Friedl had to hold and see if it would drop so he was only able to advance to third on the play. That set up runners on the corners for Elly De La Cruz with one out. He would take the second pitch and hit a chopper to first base and Matt Olson came up firing to the plate to nail Friedl who broke on the play. Cincinnati challenged the play but the call on the field stood as called. That call turned out to be big as Jake Fraley popped out to end the inning and strand two.
In the bottom of the 2nd inning Joey Votto led off with a walk and he moved up to second base on a 2-out single by Nick Senzel. Both would be stranded after a ground out ended the inning. That quickly came back to bite the Reds as Michael Harris II led off the 3rd inning with a triple and then scored on a sacrifice fly from Ozzie Albies. Austin Riley and Matt Olson both followed up with 2-out walks, resulting in a mound visit from pitching coach Derek Johnson. Whatever was said wasn’t executed as Sean Murphy and Marcell Ozuna both followed with RBI singles to make it 3-0. Stoudt then walked Eddie Rosario to load the bases. Orlando Arcia ended the inning on a soft liner into left field, stranding the bases loaded.
The Reds offense got going in the bottom of the inning. Matt McLain led off the inning with a double and then scored when Spencer Steer followed with a double of his own. Steer moved over to third on a ground out and Joey Votto walked with two outs to put runners on the corners for Will Benson, but he struck out to end the inning.
Randy Wynne, who was called up an hour prior to game time from Triple-A Louisville, took over in the top of the 4th. It was the big league debut for the 30-year-old right hander. He worked around a 1-out double by Ronald Acuna Jr. to get through his first inning unscathed.
Cincinnati got back to work at the plate in the bottom of the 4th when Tyler Stephenson and Nick Senzel both singled to lead off the inning. They moved up a base when TJ Friedl laid down a bunt. Matt McLain then doubled them both in to tie the game up at 3-3.
Wynne returned for the top of the 5th inning and worked around a single and a walk to toss another shutout inning. In the top of the 6th he would get Michael Harris II to line out before giving up a double. That would be his final batter faced and the call went to the bullpen to bring in Ian Gibaut. He’d strike out Ozzie Albies, but then walk Austin Riley. That set up Matt Olson to hit an 0-2 fastball that was up and out of the zone up and out of the park for a go-ahead 3-run homer.
Gibaut returned for the 7th inning and allowed two baserunners, while also recording two outs, before being replaced by Buck Farmer. He came in to face Ronald Acuna Jr. with runners on the corners and needed just two pitches to induce a weak grounder back to himself that he flipped over to first to end the inning.
Matt McLain led off the 7th inning with a 406-foot solo home run to cut the lead for Atlanta to 6-4. Spencer Steer walked, but the next two batters were retired. That led to a pitching change with the Braves bringing in lefty A.J. Minter to face Joey Votto with two outs. David Bell countered by bringing Jonathan India off of the bench to pinch hit. India would work a full count but he took a breaking ball on the outside corner for strike three to end the inning.
Farmer would return for the top of the 8th inning and he’d allow the first two runners of the inning to reach. David Bell then walked out to the mound and called on Alexis Diaz to come in and try to get out of the jam and keep the Reds within striking distance. He got Matt Olson to fly out, but then he walked back-to-back batters to bring in a run and make it 7-4. Diaz would come back and get a strikeout and a ground out to end the inning, but the Braves were able to tack on an insurance run.
Kevin Newman began the 8th inning by coming off of the bench to pinch hit for Will Benson and drew a walk. Tyler Stephenson hit the ball hard to follow, but it was caught on the warning track in right and Newman was unable to advance on the play. TJ Friedl would draw a 2-out walk and that led to a pitching change for Atlanta to bring in a righty to face Matt McLain and the move failed as McLain doubled off of the wall in left-center to bring in two runs and cut the Braves lead to 7-6. Spencer Steer just missed a go-ahead homer, flying out to the warning track in left field to end the inning.
Daniel Duarte was called on to pitch in the 9th inning for the Reds. The rookie got his job done as he sat Atlanta down in order. Raisel Iglesias took over in the bottom of the 9th for the Braves and had to face the middle of the Reds order. Elly De La Cruz struck out, ending his 7-game hitting streak. Jake Fraley followed and he lined a single into center to bring the winning run to the plate. Jonathan India stepped up as the designated hitter after taking over for Joey Votto in the 7th inning as a pinch hitter, and on a full count India flared a ball into shallow right field and Fraley moved over to third base. Kevin Newman battled with Iglesias for an 8-pitch at-bat, but he grounded into a double play to end the game.
Key Moment of the Game
Alexis Diaz walking back-to-back hitters in the 8th inning to bring in the Braves 7th run of the day, which turned out to be the deciding run in the game.
Notes Worth Noting
From Joel Luckhaupt on twitter – Matt McLain is only the second Reds rookie to have four extra-base hits in a game. The other was Chris Sabo on June 18th of 1988.
Matt McLain finished 4-5 on the day. The rookie infielder is now hitting .325/.380/.541 on the season through 37 games played.
Who knows how long it will last, but moving forward Randy Wynne will be referred to as a big leaguer. That’s awesome. He was undrafted and was 26-years-old before a big league team even signed him to a minor league contract (that team was the Reds).
Atlanta and Cincinnati won’t play again unless it’s in the postseason. Atlanta won five of the six games. All six games were decided by one run.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs Baltimore Orioles
Monday June 26th, 7:05pm ET
Brandon Williamson (1-0, 5.40 ERA) vs Cole Irvin (1-3, 7.71 ERA)