Eugenio Suárez cracked a 2-run go-ahead homer in the bottom of the 2nd inning and the Cincinnati Reds pitching staff took care of the rest as the team picked up a win and a series sweep on Sunday afternoon over the Colorado Rockies. The Reds moved above the .500 mark for the first time since April 21st when they were 9-8 and in the middle of what would become a 7-game losing streak.

Final R H E
Colorado Rockies (25-41) 2 6 0
Cincinnati Reds (32-31) 6 9 0
W: Hendrix (3-1) L: Senzatela (2-7)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

The Reds hit the ball very hard in the bottom of the 1st inning but didn’t have much to show for it. But they kept hitting the ball hard in the 2nd inning and things began to come together for them. Tyler Naquin doubled, Joey Votto – who didn’t hit the ball hard – blooped a single down the left field line to tie the game up. Then Eugenio Suárez unloaded on a pitch for a 2-run homer into the left field stands to put Cincinnati ahead 3-1.

In the bottom of the 3rd inning Jesse Winker was hit by a pitch and Nick Castellanos doubled to the wall in left field to put the Reds in a good spot with one out and two men in scoring position, but a strikeout and a ground out stranded the two of them. The next time Winker came to the plate he doubled, but he was stranded in the 5th inning.

Cincinnati would threaten again in the 7th inning after Kyle Farmer was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and pinch-hitter Shogo Akiyama doubled off of the wall in right field to put two men in scoring position for the top of the Reds lineup. Jonathan India fell behind 0-2 but worked a walk to load the bases for Jesse Winker.

It was not at all how you would draw it up. Winker hit a chopper that literally hit the dirt in front of the plate off of the bat, but went over a drawn in infield, scored two, and a hustling Winker turned it into a 2-run double to make it 5-2. After Nick Castellanos struck out, Tyler Naquin hit a sacrifice fly on the first pitch he saw to make it 6-2.

The Pitching

Tony Santillan had a bit of a rough start to his big league career as he allowed a single and a ground-rule double to the first two batters he faced. Charlie Blackmon then hit a sacrifice fly to put the Rockies ahead 1-0 in the top of the 1st. Santillan limited the damage there, though. In the 2nd inning he walked the tight rope as he walked C.J. Cron and gave up a single to put runners on the corners but he got out of it with an outstanding play by Tucker Barnhart on a foul bunt pop up by the opposing pitcher and getting Raimel Tapia to ground out.

The 3rd inning felt huge at the time. Tony Santillan hit the first batter he faced and then a single put to men on with the middle of the Rockies lineup due up. The 24-year-old struck out Trevor Story and Ryan McMahon but then walked Brendan Rodgers on four straight pitches to load the bases. That prompted a mound visit from pitching coach Derek Johnson and catcher Tucker Barnhart prior to facing C.J. Cron. Santillan had to battle in the at-bat, but he got Cron to fly out to shallow right field to end the inning and hold onto a 3-1 lead.

In the 4th inning Santillan worked around a single. In the 5th inning he hit Trevor Story with a pitch and walked Brendan Rodgers to put two men on with two outs as his pitch count was climbing. Ryan Hendrix was up in the bullpen and seemed ready to go, but Derek Johnson made a mound visit and the Reds decided to stick with Santillan to try and get the final out of the inning as he faced C.J. Cron in the rain that had started earlier in the inning. He fell behind 2-0 before blowing a 94 MPH fastball up in the zone by Cron, but two balls followed and a walk loaded the bases and that was it as David Bell came to the mound to make a pitching change.

With Ryan Hendrix on the mound the rain continued to come down rather heavy as he faced off against Dom Nuñez. The two battled each other to reach a full count before Hendrix got Nuñez to swing over top of a nasty slider that would have otherwise been ball four as he stranded the bases loaded and walked off the mound as fired up as could be as he held onto a 3-1 lead. That left Tony Santillan with a final line of: 4.2IP, 5H, 1ER, 4BB, 5K.

Brad Brach came in for the 6th inning and he struck out the first two hitters he faced, but walked the third. With left-handed hitting Charlie Blackmon due up David Bell came out to bring in Amir Garrett. It took three pitches to send Blackmon back to the dugout and the inning was over as the lefty kept the score 3-1 in favor of Cincinnati.

Heath Hembree entered the game for the 7th and after a 3-pitch strikeout of Trevor Story it was Ryan McMahon crushing a solo homer to the power stacks to cut the Reds lead to 3-2. He would get Brendan Rodgers to fly out to deep left field, but walked C.J. Cron to put the go-ahead run at the plate, but was able to strike Dom Nuñez out to end the inning.

Lucas Sims pitched the 8th inning, picking up a strikeout, a fly out to center, and fly out to shallow right field to wrap up an 8-pitch frame. He returned for the top of the 9th to try and hold onto a 6-2 lead. Sims got a little help early on from Jesse Winker who made a sliding grab on a liner for the 1st out of the inning. Trevor Story struck out swinging before Ryan McMahon fly out to shallow center to end the game.

Notes Worth Noting

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Milwaukee Brewers

Monday June 14th, 8:10pm ET

Vladimir Gutierrez (2-1, 2.65 ERA) vs Eric Lauer (1-2, 4.82 ERA)

77 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    Only thing that could have made it better would be if Tony got one more out and the W. I’m thinking he’ll be fine in the end.

    Sweep is SWEET!! Did what we needed to do and should against a Rockies team reeling toward oblivion. Onward to Milwaukee.

    • Mick

      Tony Santillan is from Seguin, Texas. Town named for Juan Seguin, a hero of the Texas revolution…and a current axis-mundi of barbecue.
      “Viva Sequin” by Santiago Jimenez is the other state national anthem for many of us in Central Texas.
      Great job by Tony in his debut.
      Viva Seguin!

  2. Melvin

    Pull out all stops and win one game at a time.

  3. LDS

    2 sweeps in the last 3 series. If only they could have won the Mil series

  4. JB

    I’ll take 32-31 with the injuries and how bad some players have been so far.

      • JB

        As bad as it’s been sometimes , they still have won 9 series and lost 8 with 2 series split. 2 series are still up for grabs as well with a makeup game to be played.

      • 2020ball

        Bob will sit on his hands, caressing all the money he has in his wallet

      • MK

        Do you really think they have recovered financially from from the CoVid season or even the limited ticket sales so far in 2021? I for one think they have done a pretty good job with the resources they have to work with.

    • Gonzo Reds

      Take a picture of those standings, us above .500 and ahead of the hated and fading Cardinals. Gonna be a gut check for the boys this week to keep it going with three at the Brewers and four in SD. 4-3 vs 3-4 a bigger deal with the top two pulling away.

      • Jim t

        Gonzo if we go 4-3 it will be a huge victory. Both those teams are playing very well

      • TR

        The Reds need at least 5 of 9 on this road trip to stay above .500, and then there’s a tough homestand and road trip to K.C. and Milw. again before the All Star break.

      • ClevelandRedsFan

        Cards can’t pitch without foreign substances. They were busted on 5/26 and since then have been fading fast.

        Since substance gate, Cards are 5-10! They were 27-22 before.

      • RojoB


        Not the first time I’ve heard it suggested, I think the idea has much merit!

  5. James K

    The box score doesn’t list a “save” for Sims. Why not? He entered with a one run lead and pitched two scoreless innings.

    • Gonzo Reds

      New rule. If your spin rate is too high you don’t qualify for a save. ?

    • Jpser05

      It was 6-2 when he entered in the 8th. Reds scored 3 in bottom of 7th to extend lead to 4. He is on my fantasy team, I could have used the save. But I’ll happily take the Reds win with no late inning drama from the bp!

    • VaRedsFan

      They were leading by 4 when he came in

  6. Slicc50

    On Hunter Greene going to AAA. I like the way this kids talks. Talks about working his change up into his mix. Also said he will continue to perfect his slider to where he can throw it on any count. Love hearing a kid that throws 102 speak about things like that!

    • John C.

      They can survive without a shortstop. We cannot survive without better pitching. We have to put our capital there.

      • MBS

        Right, I’m not concerned about the finance end of it, because I believe they could do both, but the trade capital should be used to sure up the pen first. That is our biggest weak spot, then a SS would be nice, but I think Barrero will be making his debut very soon. His bat is heating up now.

  7. JB

    The Cubs are going to be an interesting team come trade deadline. With Rizzo,Baez and Bryant all to be free agents this year. They wont sign them all and will they trade them for prospects. Those 3 are basically their team with Contreras.

    • AllTheHype

      No pressure on them to trade rizzo and bryant, just QO them and collect the draft picks. Baez, on the other hand, doesn’t even have positive trade value. He’d be a salary dump at best.

      • centerfield

        I would take Baez at SS all day, every day.

      • vegastypo

        Although, you must admit, it would be fascinating to have Baez and Garrett as teammates.

      • Indy Red Man

        Baez is dinged up, but on pace for 35/100/22 steals. Salary dump at best?

  8. Brian Rutherford

    Great win. Team looks focused and confident. Good showing by the bullpen in this series.

    High 5 for David Bell who has hung in there and pushed the right buttons. Lots of injuries and inconsistent play but he hasn’t thrown anyone under the bus and stayed confident in his players. I was trying to think of a clever nickname that highlights his quality decision making but I couldn’t come up with anything.

    Good luck to the team in Milwaukee and beyond. I hope everyone has a great week at home and at work. Just be good humans and be kind to each other.

    • RedsMonk65

      Yes, they are 10-3 over their last 13 games. Keep up that ratio over a significant period of time, and they’ll be right in the thick of things. Milwaukee series is huge, since two of the three losses in that period came against the Brewers (the other being the 17-3 debacle against the Phillies).

      Thanks for the good wishes. Reminded me: Many years ago, I was on the summit of the Little Matterhorn in Switzerland (directly across from THE Matterhorn. There was a huge crucifix posted there, and below it a sign with an engraving in three different languages: “Be more human.”

      Amen. The world needs a lot more of that.

      • Brian Rutherford

        “It is my conviction that there is no way to Peace—-Peace is the way.”
        Thich Nhat Hanh

  9. Reddawg2012

    I think the Reds would have a real shot at the division if they could shore up the back end of the bullpen. Seems like it would make sense to explore trading an extra OFer for a reliable relief arm.

    • RedsMonk65

      Absolutely. They need to make that happen, especially with what’s happened to Antone.

    • Brian Rutherford

      I do miss the days of having Chapman in the bullpen to get the last 3 out. Heck, I would even be happy to have Iglesias back even though he is having a tough season. Quality bullpen arms is are hard to find across baseball. I wonder if the team could find a fair trade for any decent pitching as scarce as it is.

      • Reddawg2012

        I agree that finding the right match could be tough. It just feels like they are so close to being a real contender.

    • Kevin Patrick

      I can’t help but wonder whether many ownership people and gm’s are waiting to see the fallout of spin rate regulation…and then sign who is still left standing. I would hate to sign the wrong guy…and frankly…I wonder if the Reds knew something anyhow…which is why some Reds pitchers were on the block in the off season. When Rob Dibble used to be on MLB radio on XM…he used to say something like…”You never trade a position player for a pitcher…you only trade pitchers for pitchers and position players for position players.” There might be something to this…good position players are often the cornerstones of successful franchises…pitchers seem to be a little less reliable over the course of years.

  10. Old-school

    Go Reds
    Reset button officially hit.
    Opportunity in Milwaukee.

    • TR

      The Reds have seven games in Milwaukee in the next month. They need to score early in those games especially. Plus they have three games with the Brewers in Cincy directly following the All Star break.

  11. Mark Moore

    So general question. What are the current rules for rehab assignments and skipping levels. I ask because the High-A Braves have a pitcher rehabbing this week from the big club. Just wondering if anybody knows.

    • Ohiojimwalker

      I think there is fluidity and flexibility now that did not exist a few weeks ago. In the Reds org, Alejo Lopez moved up from AA to AAA (Tier 2 to Tier 1) playing on consecutive days at AA then AAA. So clearly no quarantine in that case; but, I do not know what the criteria were. As I understand A+ would involve a similar T1 to T2 move.

  12. Tom Mitsoff

    The next week is key. A bad team that goes on the road to first Milwaukee and then San Diego could get buried by that trip. A decent team maybe goes 3-4. A good team might still go 3-4 against those teams, but might also play above .500. We will definitely learn a lot in the coming week.

    Brach has had only one bad outing, so I am in for him getting more chances as a setup guy. We’re likely going to see more of Amir Garrett in key situations, and he will have to deliver. Some members of this bullpen are going to have to step up and become reliable in key situations if this team is going to move to the “good” category. If the starters can go seven innings consistently, the value of that can’t be overstated.

    • Ohiojimwalker

      Brach seems to start strongly but then lose his release point or whatever and heavy the pitches too far to his arm size. Stuff still looks good just pulled too much

    • Vince Matlick

      I liked how Bell handled Garret. With the new rule, he knew he might be able to bring him in for one batter only since there were two outs. It worked out with a three pitch strikeout and Garret was done for the night.

    • Mark Moore

      Very interesting. Thanks for sharing it.

    • RojoB

      Launch angle is so 2019 lol

      But the pitching remarks are on point

      • TR

        Everything, including baseball, changes. Price was (is) an outstanding pitching coach. His succeeding Dusty Baker as Red’s manager was a mistake.

    • Owen

      Strong “I’m keeping your frisbee. Get off my lawn.” energy.

  13. Tom Mitsoff

    All of that being said — it feels good to be above .500 in June for the first time in seven years! 😉

  14. Redsvol

    Glad for the win but a little worried about Santillian giving us man competent starts while Gray is out. The line this game was “woof”. I’m sure he was nervous and I hope the walks and hit batters are an aberration and not a pattern – got to be able to locate it at the major league level young Tony!

    • RojoB

      I thought he performed as well as you can expect. They only scored one run on him.

      He showed a lot of guts today. And I loved Barney going to the mound to calm and reassure him

  15. Old-school

    Glad to see the Reds with another home grown pitching prospect step in and compete and give his team a chance to win

    Was he pitch efficient? No
    Was he the second coming of nolan Ryan? No
    Did he have easy 1-2-3 innings? No

    Did he compete ? Yes
    Did he get out of his own messes? Yes until after 90 pitches+
    Did the Reds win and only give up 2 runs? Yes

    I was at homer Bailey’s debut

    It was very very similar to this

    5 innings of 3-2 counts and runners on base and laboring and 1 batter away from disaster.

    Congrats to Santillan

    • RojoB

      I am of the opinion that had it it been raining in the fifth inning that Big Tony may have faired better. We’ll never know

    • Tim

      First of all, major thinks to the site moderators and those who write these summaries and articles. Very well done and most enjoyable!

      Secondly, you’ve got to be happy with where this team sits at this point. Reds have had a heavy dose of injuries and a real lack of performance by a couple of key players combined with a terrible performance by the bullpen. Here’s the bottom line, we have three really good SPs and some new blood that looks promising. We have what may be one of the strongest lineups in the MLB. Antone is a real gem so far. With all of our players healthy (except Senzel) there will be great Left and Right lineups and very little dropoff in subs and pinch hitters. Our bullpen can only go up and another key reliever or two would make this team fearsome in my opinion.

  16. RedsMonk65

    While I’m thinking about it: Kudos to the Reds’ bullpen today for pitching 4 1/3 innings and only giving up one run. More of that, please. (Though I hope there is less of a need for the bullpen to carry such of a load.)

  17. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    Should the Reds pull the trigger on a trade of Tyler Naquin right now? For a much needed relief arm and or a pair of arms?

    Will Naquin ever have more trade value than he does right now? Will Shogo be a big drop-off in production? Will it upset the chemistry?

    I would roll the dice if I was going to get at least one quality eighth inning type relief pitcher back right now? I think Shogo will be okay offensively and upgrade the outfield defense, you then have Senzel coming back in about three weeks also.

    The double to right field Shogo hit I believe was the hardest ball I saw hit this year by a Red which stood in the ball park. Tough decisions ahead.

    • JayTheRed

      Senzel is going to be out at least til the All Star Break and maybe longer.

      • MK

        I no longer think they should count on Senzel to be much more than a part time player. He is obviously prone to physical maladies and a slow healer.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      It’ll be certainly a tough decision, although age and team’s control are key factors here: Naquin is 30 and can be a free agent as early as 2023, while Shogo is 33 and a free agent after next season (no option). Each player has its unique skillset, Naquin is a good run producer with average power and defense, while Shogo is fast, an outstanding defender and should get on base more often with more playing time.

    • RojoB

      Great points. If someone would take Shogo and his salary then I prefer that. But if more talent is to be had from a Naquin trade, that would be a benefit also. I agree with you that I suspect Naquin is at a peak right now and may taper off a lot if he can’t lay off the down and in slider in the dirt.

  18. LDS

    Milwaukee has a tremendous schedule advantage in the coming weeks. The Reds really need a sweep this week. The Reds draw SD while the Brewers get the Rockies. After the Reds, 14 of 17 Brewer games are against the Rockies, AZ, and Pittsburgh. The Reds pull the Padres 7 times over that same 17 game stretch, plus Chicago, Atlanta, and Minnesota. The season could go south very quickly in the next 3 weeks. Solve the SS & bullpen problems in the next 3 days.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      A sweep of the first place team, while on the road is so unlikely I can’t even fathom it. Stranger things have happened, like sweeping St. Louis in St. Louis but I wouldn’t count on lightning striking twice in the same season.

    • Reddawg2012

      I share your concerns regarding the schedule. After that 17 game stretch, the Reds might be closer to the 2nd wildcard than leading the NLC.

  19. Rednat

    I have been so impressed with Jessie Winker. forget the batting average and all the home runs. he has turned himself into a very good left fielder. he has made 2 fine defensive plays over the past 2 games. also his baserunning and hustle has really improved and was on display today as well.

    Say what you want about Bell’s decision making but he had his players “in fighting shape” this year. Winker looks more athletic. Suarez isn’t hitting like we would like him to but he looks lean and mean and I Think has played in every game this year. Votto looks like he is 33 again out there (especially since coming off the injury). Even Senzel looked like he really worked on his fitness and conditioning before he went down.

    I actually think Bell has a lot of good leadership qualities as a manager and has the respect of his players for sure.

    • Indy Red Man

      Good point. They’ve been better on the bases too! Still not great, but Winker got a hustle double yesterday and Naquin moved up to 2nd on a dumb throw to 3rd.

      As for Bell, I’d give him a B- so far. He has some issues with reading his pitchers like blowing the 7-0 lead in St. Louis, but considering the bullpen and Suarez/Castillo’s issues then being over .500 is a pretty good accomplishment. Their hitting approach is 100% better then last year. They’re not trying to launch everything and striking out constantly and most of our hitters will go the other way instead of rolling over. We scored 10 on Saturday without a HR so thats pretty amazing! Bell deserves a little credit atleast.

      • Jim t

        Bell gets a A- from me. His handling of the pitching staff has more to do with personnel then his management. His use of the position players has been a huge reason we are still in the race. He has had to overcome cold starts by some and injuries as well as implementing rookies in the process. Those on here constantly trying to second guess the process and insulting our manager are laughable. This team is playing hard every game. It shows on the field and what we hear coming out of the clubhouse. Players like the manager and are playing hard. I am enjoying the season.

    • RojoB

      Most all of us are happy when our team is winning. Feels great.

      But when they are losing, and the manger is excused by saying, “the players play, stop blaming him for failures,” then does not reason dictate that when they win, the argument should be “the players play, don’t give so much credit to the manger”?

      I think the reality is somewhere on a spectrum between the two—I just don’t know exactly where on the spectrum it should be

      • TR

        I’ve lessened my feelings on how much a manager affects a winning team. I remember, years ago, Earl Weaver, manager of the Orioles, used to leave the dugout occasionally when the O’s were in a real tough spot. After all, it’s the players who have to hit, pitch and score runs. I think the manager does have an influence backstage in the clubhouse, counseling players, and working with the coaches. Bell, as a manager, is slowly maturing and less dugout tinkering is evident.

    • greenmtred

      A small-appearing decision of his yesterday that impressed me was his use of Garrett. It might have been tempting to bring him back for the next inning, given that the bullpen is short-handed and unreliable, but Garrett has been struggling, and letting him leave on a positive note seems like the right thing to do. The Reds need Garrett and Suarez and Castillo performing at something approaching their ability.

  20. Steven Ross

    Too many OF players. Very crowded. Need to make a trade so we can obtain bullpen help. That is all.

  21. Grand Salami

    They took care of business and hit the road in high spirits!

    Fixing this OF glut with a trade and getting a reliable Guy for the pen would be ideal.

    Does anyone know if Bell has confirmed Suarez’s move back to SS when Moose gets back? Will he make any games this request road trip?

  22. Hotto4Votto

    Solid start for Santillan in his debut. Worked himself into and out of a lot of trouble. Will have to limit baserunners in the future to find more success, but was happy to see him overcome a few tough situations and keep working. Been following Santillan’s progression throughout his career, glad to see him work his way to the big club. The future may be bright with Santillan, Gutierrez, Greene, and Lodolo in the rotation.
    Glad to have swept the Rockies, but trying to temper that verses how bad they are and they were on the road. Either way, good to get the sweep.