TJ Friedl had himself a game on Wednesday night. The center fielder robbed a home run, stole a base, had three hits, and he scored three runs as he, Andrew Abbott, and the Reds bullpen held Cleveland to two runs in Cincinnati’s 7-2 win over the Guardians to earn a series split with their in-state rivals.
|Cleveland Guardians (58-63)
|Cincinnati Reds (63-59)
|W: Abbott (8-3) L: Syndergaard (2-6)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
After Cleveland came up empty in the top of the 1st inning, Cincinnati was ready to get rolling in the bottom half. TJ Friedl led off with a single and then scored when Matt McLain followed up with a double to the wall in left center to give the Reds a 1-0 lead. Spencer Steer would be hit by a pitch later in the inning and steal second base, but both he and McLain would be stranded as the club could only push across one run.
The Guardians got a single from Brayan Occhio to begin the inning with a single. After a strikeout, Gabriel Arias lined out to a leaping Matt McLain. He fired to first when he landed, but threw the ball by Joey Votto at first and Occhio took off for second base. The Reds appealed on a throw over to first and he was ruled safe. Then manager David Bell challenged the play. After review it was overturned with Occhio having come back beyond first base and did not touch the bag before heading to second and the inning was over on a double play.
In the top of the 3rd inning Cleveland got another leadoff single, this time from Myles Straw. He would take second base on a fly out and then score on a 2-out single from Jose Ramirez that tied the game up at 1-1. Ramon Laureano then crushed an Andrew Abbott change up to center, but TJ Friedl jumped at the wall and reached over it to rob him of a 2-run homer to end the inning.
Christian Encarnacion-Strand led off the bottom of the 4th and then scored when Stuart Fairchild crushed a 427-foot home run into the left field seats. The Reds weren’t done for the inning, though. TJ Friedl would single with two outs, steal second base, and then come in to score when Matt McLain hit the team’s second 2-run homer of the inning as Cincinnati extended their lead to 5-1.
Cleveland immediately got one of those runs back when Gabriel Arias led off with a solo homer that landed just beneath the power stacks in right center. A single from Myles Straw would follow, but Andrew Abbott worked his way out of the frame with a 5-2 lead. Cincinnati would get that run back in the bottom of the inning after Joey Votto singled with one out and moved up to second when Christian Encarnacion-Strand walked. Both moved up a base when Stuart Fairchild got the green light on a 3-0 count and singled, loading the bases for Will Benson. The Guardians called on reliever Daniel Norris to take over for Noah Syndergaard and got a ground out, but Votto scored to make it 6-2.
TJ Friedl led off the inning with a bunt single and he would move up to second base when Jose Ramirez made an error with two outs on a grounder by Spencer Steer. Joey Votto then lined a single into left and Friedl came around to score and make it 7-2. Christian Encarnacion-Strand then walked on four pitches to load the bases. Cleveland called on Eli Morgan to enter the game to face Stuart Fairchild and the move worked for the Guardians as he induced a shallow fly ball to center to end the inning and strand the bases loaded.
Sam Moll took over for the Reds in the 7th and pitched a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts. Derek Law entered from the bullpen for the 8th and gave up a 1-out single to Jose Ramirez, but got a double play to end the inning and face the minimum.
Cincinnati would get a single from Matt McLain and a walk from Elly De La Cruz to lead off the bottom of the 8th inning and both would steal the base in front of them to put two men in scoring position with no outs, but a fly out was followed up by back-to-back strikeouts to strand them there.
Holding a five run lead, the Reds sent Alan Busenitz to the mound for the 9th inning. He’d get a fly out to start the inning, but Brayan Rocchio singled on the first pitch he saw. Tyler Freeman would follow up with a grounder to Elly De La Cruz who started a game ending double play as Cincinnati earned a split of the series.
Key Moment of the Game
Matt McLain’s 2-run home run in the 4th inning. That turned the game from a bloop-and-a-blast range into a grand slam range kind of ballgame.
Notes Worth Noting
Since giving up three runs in 1.1 innings on June 6th and having his ERA reach 7.29, Fernando Cruz has thrown 29.1 innings across 28 games pitched in while walking 12 batters and striking out 44 to go along with a 3.38 ERA.
Sam Moll now has 11 strikeouts and one walk in his 7.2 innings since joining the Reds to go along with his 2.35 ERA.
From Joel Luckhaupt: The Cincinnati Reds are the first MLB team with three rookies who all had at least 10 steals and 10 home runs in the same season. Matt McLain stole two bags in the game, taking him from nine on the year to 11.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Toronto Blue Jays vs Cincinnati Reds
Friday August 18th, 6:40pm ET
Jose Berrios (9-8, 3.53 ERA) vs TBA