Graham Ashcraft was dominant, but Alexis Diaz blew his first save opportunity of the year. Then both the Reds and Padres scored two runs in the 10th inning to keep the game going. Cincinnati needed a run to keep the game alive in the 11th after San Diego scored in their half, and they got three of them, capping things off with a Spencer Steer walk-off home run.
|San Diego Padres (37-45)
|Cincinnati Reds (44-38)
|W: Duarte (1-0) L: Carlton (2-1)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Graham Ashcraft worked around two singles in the first four innings as he kept the Padres off of the board. Cincinnati didn’t have a hit yet, though. That changed in the bottom of the 4th when Jonathan India singled with one out. He moved to third on a single from Elly De La Cruz, but De La Cruz was thrown out at second as he tried to turn it into a double. The Reds couldn’t take advantage of their scoring opportunity as Jake Fraley struck out to end the inning.
Ashcraft picked up where he left off in the 5th with a 1-2-3 inning. Cincinnati picked up two 1-out singles in their half of the frame but once again couldn’t come through the a hit to bring in a run and the game headed to the 6th scoreless. The game didn’t remain scoreless for long after that as Trent Grisham hit the first pitch of the inning into the bullpen in left center to put the Padres up 1-0. Ashcraft rebounded with a pop up and strikeouts of Juan Soto and Manny Machado to end the top of the inning.
Cincinnati got a little bit of help in the bottom of the 6th inning when Elly De La Cruz hit a fairly deep fly ball into left center, but it was catchable by either the left fielder or center fielder, but they nearly ran into each other and the ball clanked off of the glove of center fielder Trent Grisham and De La Cruz cruised into second base with two outs. That error meant an extended inning and Jake Fraley came through with a soft line drive into the outfield to bring in the tying run.
Graham Ashcraft returned to the mound for the top of the 7th inning and got two ground outs, but he walked Gary Sanchez and Matt Carpenter with two outs. That led to a mound visit from manager David Bell, who called on Lucas Sims to try and escape the jam. He’d do just that, striking out Rougned Odor, and it closed the book on Ashcraft’s outing at 6.2 innings of 3-hit, 1-run baseball that included seven strikeouts.
Spencer Steer began the bottom of the 7th inning with a walk, but he was picked off. That turned out to be a painful out because Tyler Stephenson homered a few pitches later – the 10th pitch of the at-bat – to give Cincinnati a 2-1 lead. After getting ahead 3-0, Will Benson got the green light and he got a 95 MPH fastball and he singled into center. That led to a pitching change as the lineup turned over for the Reds. After TJ Friedl struck out swinging, Nick Martinez executed the second pick off of the inning for the Padres, getting Will Benson at first to end the inning.
Lucas Sims returned for the top of the 8th inning and retired Trent Grisham and Fernando Tatis Jr. to begin the frame, but Juan Soto singled into right field with two outs to keep the inning alive for Manny Machado. Sims came out on top, getting a soft liner to left field to end the Padres half of the inning and hold onto a 2-1 lead.
After the Reds went in order in the bottom of the 8th inning it was time for Alexis Diaz to come in and try to record the final three outs of the game. Xander Bogaerts singled to start the inning. Jake Cronenworth laid down a bunt and turned it into a base hit, putting the tying run on second and the go-ahead run at first. Gary Sanchez followed up with a fly out to the warning track in left field with both runners tagging up and advancing. That set up Matt Carpenter for a sacrifice fly to right field that tied the game up and moved Cronenworth to third base. Diaz got a pop out to end the inning, but the damage was down as he blew his first save of the year and the game headed to the bottom of the 9th knotted up at 2-2.
Josh Hader came out of the bullpen for San Diego to try and get the game into extras. Kevin Newman came off of the bench to pinch hit for Jake Fraley, but he struck out to begin the inning. With Joey Votto due up, David Bell once again went to the bench and called on Nick Senzel to pinch hit against the lefty Hader. The result was the same as the previous one – a strikeout. Spencer Steer came through with a 2-out walk to bring Tyler Stephenson to the plate. He struck out to end the inning and the game headed to the 10th.
Ian Gibaut entered the game for Cincinnati to start the 10th with Rougned Odor started at second base for San Diego. A sacrifice bunt moved Odor over to third base, which made it easy for him to score when Fernando Tatis Jr. singled into left field and put the Padres up 3-2. Juan Soto then followed up with a double that plated Tatis Jr. and gave the road team a 4-2 lead. Manny Machado popped out in foul territory to Jonathan India, who made a sliding catch and he got up and fired to third as Juan Soto tagged up and advanced, just beating the throw. Xander Bogaerts would ground out to end the inning.
Cincinnati began their half of the 10th inning with Tyler Stephenson as their free runner. They also pinch hit Luke Maile for Will Benson with Ray Kerr, a lefty reliever, entering the game. Maile grounded out to third to begin the inning, turning the lineup over. TJ Friedl followed up by popping out to second base. That left the game up to Matt McLain and he did his part. He took a 97 MPH fastball and lined a game-tying 2-run homer over the wall in center. Jonathan India flew out to the warning track in left to end the inning.
Alex Young was tasked with the 11th inning for Cincinnati. San Diego began their half of the frame with Xander Bogaerts at second as the free runner. Jake Cronenworth popped up to start the inning, but Gary Sanchez singled up the middle on a ball that went off of the glove of Jonathan India and into center, bringing Bogaerts in to score the go-ahead run. Nelson Cruz grounded out, but the runner moved up to second base. San Diego called on Ha-Seong Kim to pinch hit and the Reds countered by calling on Daniel Duarte from the bullpen. Kim worked a walk to extend the inning, but Trent Grisham lined out to end the inning.
Cincinnati began the inning with Jonathan India on second base and Elly De La Cruz at the plate. He came through with an RBI double to tie the game up. Kevin Newman laid down a sacrifice bunt and moved De La Cruz to third base. Nick Senzel then grounded to shortstop and Xander Bogaerts fired home. De La Cruz slid head first but Sanchez’s foot blocked the plate and De La Cruz never touched the plate before he was tagged out. The Reds challenged the play that Sanchez illegally blocked the plate. Apparently you can block the plate on “hard hit balls”, so the play was confirmed and De La Cruz was out. It felt like a huge blow to the Reds, but Spencer Steer was not ready to have it and he crushed a walk-off home run into the seats in left-center bleachers.
Key Moment of the Game
Spencer Steer’s 434-foot walk-off home run.
Notes Worth Noting
Matt McLain’s home run in the 10th inning kept his on-base streak alive, moving it to 21 games. He’s now hitting .313/.366/.545 on the year in 41 games.
Spencer Steer, perhaps overlooked at times, continued his fantastic rookie season. He’s hitting .283/.374/.497 on the season with 34 extra-base hits.
Graham Ashcraft had his longest outing of the season since his 7-inning start to begin the year. Friday night was his first quality start since May 2nd. His seven strikeouts matched a season high.
Alexis Diaz blew a save for the first time since August 23rd of 2022.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
San Diego Padres vs Cincinnati Reds
Saturday July 1st, 1:40pm ET
TBA vs Brandon Williamson (1-1, 5.82 ERA)