Reds take two of three in Arizona

A sweep would have been nice, but the Reds settled for taking two-of-three games against Diamondbacks in Arizona.

On Monday, Cincinnati claimed its second straight, one-run victory as the Redlegs got by the D-backs 5-4.

Trailing 4-1 after four, the Reds plated three runs in the fifth on Brandon Drury’s shot that left the yard.

Cincinnati then broke the 4-4 tie in the sixth on a Mike Moustakas line drive RBI single. That proved to be the game winning run.

Cincy starter Mike Minor got his first win of the season pitching 6-1/3 innings.  He left the game with the lead after allowing all four Arizona runs on eight hits and two walks with five strikeouts.

Four Reds pitched out of the pen to hold the edge with Hunter Strickland tossing a one-two-three ninth to earn his second save of the season.

Of the Reds eight hits in the game, Matt Reynolds had two of them which included a run-scoring single in the fourth.

On Tuesday, the two teams were scoreless through nine innings.  Cincinnati eventually pulled off a 5-3 victory in 12 when the game finally ended at 1:22 am Eastern Time.

Both starting pitchers combined for 16 shutout innings.  Tyler Mahle pitched nine for Cincinnati giving up just three hits and no walks while striking out 12.

The Reds scored first in the top of the 10th when TJ Friedl doubled home Reynolds.

The D-backs answered in the home 10th on a double and an error.

Tied at 1-1 in the 11th, the Redlegs scored twice on Kyle Farmer’s 2-RBI single which plated Drury and Tommy Pham.

Cincy pitcher Luis Cessa was unable to hold the 3-1 lead in the bottom of the 11th when Arizona scored twice on a combination of two wild pitches and a throwing error.

But for a second consecutive inning, Cincinnati scored a pair of runs during extra frames.  In the 12th, Albert Almora tripled which scored Reynolds.  Then Almora crossed the dish on a base hit by Jonathan India.

And in the bottom of the 12th, Cincinnati brought on Joel Kuhnel to try and close it out, and that he did in one-two-three-fashion.  It was Kuhnel’s first career save as the Reds won 5-3.

Here’s a prime example of why won/loss stats for pitchers are meaningless.  Mahle pitched outstanding baseball for nine innings and had no win to show for it.  Cessa looked awful and blew a save during his one inning in the 11th, yet Cessa gets credit for the win because he was still the pitcher of record when Cincinnati regained the lead in the 12th.

Go figure.

The brooms were out Wednesday afternoon, but Cincinnati did not put them to use as they lost the series and season finale with the Diamondbacks 7-4.

Both starting pitchers got off to a bit of a rough start.  The Reds Luis Castillo and the D-backs Zac Gallen gave up three and two runs respectively in the second inning.

The Redlegs tied the game at 3-3 in the eighth on Drury’s solo home run to left center, his team-leading 13th of the season.

Castillo was lifted for reliever Art Warren who gave the farm away in the home eighth.  Warren was touched up for four runs, all earned.  He has struggled mightily over his last seven appearances with an astronomical 16.20 ERA.

Down 7-3 in the ninth, Cincinnati tried to mount a comeback.  Joey Votto singled, took second on a wild pitch and later scored on a Moustakas base hit.

The Reds then encountered a bit of bad luck as Nick Senzel flied out to the deepest part of the park and Almora hit a rocket picked off by Zona third baseman Josh Rojas.  Then Friedl popped out to left and the Reds lost by three.

While the Reds have had their share of struggles this season, one bright spot has certainly been pitcher Hunter Greene.  The 22-year-old rookie right hander was named National League Player of the Week.

In two outings last week, Greene threw a seven-inning, one-hit shutout during a rain shortened game against the Diamondbacks where he struck out eight and walked none.  Then against the Cardinals, Green allowed just one run on two hits while fanning five over five frames.

Cincinnati is off Thursday but returns to GABP for a six-game homestand- three weekend games with the Brewers starting Friday and a trio of games with the Dodgers beginning Tuesday.