The Short Version: Reds offense dominated by an All-Star pitcher for eight innings, but they scored seven runs in the top of the ninth — capped by a bases-clearing double from Joey Votto to grab the lead — and the Reds snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (41-51) 7 8 2
Cleveland Indians (49-41) 4 5 0
W: Crockett (1-0) L: Allen (2-4) S: Iglesias (19)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Until the ninth inning, I had very little to say here. Maybe only Kyle Crockett — pride of the University of Virginia Cavaliers — who pitched 2/3 of a perfect inning in relief to pick up his first win in a Reds uniform.

–The Reds had three hits and no runs in the first eight innings. In the ninth, things got fun.

Designated hitter Scooter Gennett (single, walk, HBP tonight) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Eugenio Suarez (2-5, run scored, 1 RBI) followed with an infield single, but Jesse Winker (single, two walks) and Tucker Barnhart were retired.

With two outs and the Reds down 4-0, Jose Peraza pinch-hit for Alex Blandino and collected an RBI single. Adam Duvall pinch-hit for Billy Hamilton next, and he drilled a double that scored two runs. #AllOfASudden, after no offense all night, it was a 4-3 game.

The Indians intentionally walked Scott Schebler, bringing Dilson Herrera to the plate. Herrera, who had already walked once, put together a beautiful at-bat in the ninth inning that loaded the bases for Joey Votto. Herrera was so patient, taking a close 2-2 pitch with two outs for ball three that blew my mind. How does a kid who just got back to the big leagues take a pitch like that?

So, bases loaded for Joey Votto, right? He worked the count to 3-2, and everyone in Redleg Nation was on the edge of their seats. Full count, two outs, bases loaded, ninth inning. Votto proceeded to murder a ball to deep right-center field that cleared the bases and gave the Reds a 6-4 lead on a night when it looked like they were dead in the water.

After an intentional walk, Suarez singled in another run, giving the Reds a 7-4 lead that would be the final margin of victory.

That was as much fun as any last place team can have in mid-July.

The Bad
Another sloppy error by Eugenio Suarez tonight. I love that guy, and I could not be happier that he’s going to be a Red for a long time. But his defense hasn’t been as good as it was last year. Fortunately, he’s one of the best hitters in all of baseball.

Never mind. Everything is great tonight.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Sheesh. This team is so much run right now. No one is going to want to face the Reds in the first round of the playoffs.

–Truthfully, I could have put Sal Romano’s start in the “good” section above. Romano gave up two runs in each of the first two innings, but proceeded to pitch into the eighth inning after that rough beginning. Sal’s final line: 7.1 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 1 K, 100 pitches. The fact that he hung in there after those first couple of innings was a big reason the Reds were able to stage a comeback.

–That’s 7 wins in 9 games for the Redlegs, who will go for the sweep against AL Central-leading Cleveland tomorrow night. Tyler Mahle will toe the rubber.

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