Things weren’t looking good for the Reds early on, but as things have gone often this season for Cincinnati, the offense got going later on in the game. Cincinnati would score twice in the 6th inning, get a game tying pinch hit homer from Nick Martini in the 8th, and then they would walk things off in the bottom of the 9th to complete the comeback.
Connor Phillips took the mound for the first time in a big league uniform on Tuesday evening and he struck out J.P. Crawford to start the game. He would then get Julio Rodriguez to fly out, but then he walked Cal Raleigh and that old saying that walks will haunt held true as Teoscar Hernandez followed up with a 2-run homer to center to put Seattle ahead.
The Reds tried to get something going in the bottom of the 2nd. Elly De La Cruz led off with a line drive single to right field, but he was caught stealing second base. Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Will Benson followed up with singles to put two men on, but Harrison Bader hit a chopper to shortstop that turned into an inning-ending double play as Cincinnati failed to capitalize on a 3-hit inning.
The next inning the club was once again trying to get something going and like the inning before they got a leadoff single from a rookie who was then caught stealing. Luke Maile followed up with a single of his own, but this time Cincinnati was able to cash in. Jake Fraley picked up an RBI double as Maile chugged his way around the bases from first to score on the play to cut the Mariners lead to 2-1.
Connor Phillips had been pitching well since the 1st inning, but Seattle got to him in the 5th with one out. Josh Rojas and J.P. Crawford picked up back-to-back singles before Julio Rodriguez took a 3-2 fastball thrown dead-red middle of the plate and hit it 397 feet into the seats in right field for a 3-run homer that padded the Mariners lead and made it 5-1. Phillips picked up his 7th strikeout of the day by getting Cal Raleigh looking, but Teoscar Hernandez singled up the middle to follow and that ended the day for the rookie as David Bell called on Chasen Shreve out of the bullpen. He’d get a grounder to end the inning and keep it a 4-run game.
Cincinnati had an opportunity in the bottom of the 5th to do some damage. Noelvi Marte picked up a hustle double to lead off the inning and moved up to third on a groundout. Jake Fraley and TJ Friedl were both hit in the foot by pitches to load the bases, but Spencer Steer would strike out. That left things up to Elly De La Cruz. He hit the ball hard, but his 105 MPH line drive to the warning track in left was caught to end the inning.
The bottom of the 6th saw Cincinnati get on the board quickly as Christian Encarnacion-Strand led off with a long home run down the left field line. Two batters later Noelvi Marte connected for the first home run of his big league career, hitting a solo shot into the seats in left field to make it a 5-3 game.
What a moment for the kid.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) September 6, 2023
Back-to-back walks would follow. With a lefty on the mound the Reds called on Nick Senzel to pinch hit for TJ Friedl. He hit the ball hard, but his fly ball was caught a few feet from the wall in right center to end the inning.
In the top of the 7th the Mariners got one of those runs back when Julio Rodriguez led off the inning with his second homer of the day. Derek Law would retire the next two batters, but then got himself into trouble by giving up a double and hitting Ty France. He got himself out of the jam, though, getting a grounder to end the inning.
Cincinnati’s offense isn’t known as the Rally Reds for nothing, and they showed Seattle why in the 8th inning. Noelvi Marte walked with one out and moved up to second when Tyler Stephenson came through with a pinch hit single. David Bell then called on Nick Martini off of the bench to hit for Stuart Fairchild and the move paid off in a huge way as Martini crushed a game-tying 3-run homer into the first row of seats in right field.
With the game tied up, Alexis Diaz took over on the mound in the 9th and quickly walked the leadoff hitter. After a fly out, Diaz induced a grounder that walk called a double play on the field, but the Mariners challenged the call at first and won the challenge to keep the inning alive. Seattle then pinch ran for Ty France at first and Dylan Moore immediately stole second base. Diaz then hit Mike Ford with a pitch to put two runners on. Eugenio Suarez got ahead 3-0 and then got the green light to swing away. And he did just that, but fly out to center to end the inning.
That set up the Reds for a potential walk off win. Elly De La Cruz led off the inning and got ahead 3-0. Like Suarez the previous half-inning, he got a green light on 3-0 and he swung away. He used his speed to beat out a chopper hit to shortstop. De La Cruz then stole second base. Christian Encarnacion-Strand then came through with a single the other way and De La Cruz raced around third and scored the winning run with a head first slide at the plate.
Key Moment of the Game
Nick Martini’s pinch hit 3-run homer in the 8th that tied the game up.
Notes worth noting
Connor Phillips is the first player to be drafted by the Seattle Mariners and to also make his major league debut against the Mariners.
Noelvi Marte had a huge day, going 3-3 with a walk, double, and picking up his first career homer.
Elly De La Cruz has not struck out in back-to-back games for the first time since July 6th and 7th. He’s also walked three times in the last two games.
The Reds struck out just three times in the game. That is just four strikeouts for Cincinnati in the last two games.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Seattle Mariners vs Cincinnati Reds
Wednesday September 6th, 6:40pm ET
Logan Gilbert (12-5, 3.56 ERA) vs Lyon Richardson (0-1, 6.75 ERA)