A low scoring affair saw the Atlanta Braves come out on top of the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night as Cincinnati left the tying run standing on second base.
|Atlanta Braves (36-39)||3||9||0|
|Cincinnati Reds (37-37)||2||11||0|
|W: Smyly (5-3) L: Gutierrez (3-2) SV: Smith (16)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Cincinnati’s offense was threatening early with singles by Jonathan India and Nick Castellanos in the 1st inning, but the Reds failed to bring a run across the plate. Castellanos led off the 4th inning with a double but he was once again stranded on the bases and the game remained scoreless.
In the 6th inning the top of the lineup was due up and they cashed in. Jonathan India led off with a single to left and came around to score on a 2-out double by Tyler Stephenson that brought the Reds to within a run. The Braves got the run back in the top of the 7th. Eugenio Suárez did his job and put the Reds back within a run as he crushed a solo homer 415 feet into the Braves bullpen in left center field.
Down 3-2 the Reds tried to get the tying run across in the 8th behind singles by Nick Castellanos and Tyler Stephenson after Jesse Winker was absolutely robbed on an extra-base hit by Guillermo Heredia who made a leaping catch on the warning track in dead center.
This effort. pic.twitter.com/6CEXCAsCtE
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) June 26, 2021
Unfortunately for the Reds a double play by Joey Votto ended the threat and sent the game to the 9th with Cincinnati still trailing.
Eugenio Suárez struck out to lead off the bottom of the 9th inning. Tyler Naquin lined out to center field. That left the game up to Kyle Farmer and he kept it going with a double into right center. Scott Heineman came off of the bench to pinch hit and he struck out on three pitches to end the game.
Vladimir Gutierrez has the Braves where he wanted them through the first four innings before running into problems in the 5th. With two outs he issued a walk to Ronald Acuña Jr. Freddie Freeman made him pay as he followed with a ground-rule double to put the first run on the board in the game. In the 6th inning it was more 2-out trouble as Dansby Swanson hit a solo homer to make it 2-0. After the Reds scored a run in the bottom of the 6th, Guillermo Heredia homered to lead off the 7th and ended the day for Vladimir Gutierrez.
Ryan Hendrix came out of the bullpen and fired off a shutout inning as he worked around two hits with two strikeouts. Art Warren saw the offense score a run in the bottom of the 7th to cut the Braves lead to 3-2 and Warren kept it there with a perfect inning on 11 pitches.
Josh Osich got the call by David Bell and Derek Johnson for the top of the 9th. Guillermo Heredia led off the inning with a double down the left field line. Pinch-hitter Ehire Adrianza emerged from the dugout, but he headed back after a diving stop by Joey Votto at first base and a toss to a covering Osich – but Heredia moved to 3rd base with just one out. Osich had to then face off against Ronald Acuña Jr. and after a full count he struck him out for the 2nd out of the inning. Freddie Freeman followed and Osich needed three pitches to get him to fly out to center to end the Braves threat and hold the score at 3-2 and give the Reds offense once last chance to get at least one run on the board to tie things up or possibly get more and end the game.
Notes Worth Noting
It was noted on the television broadcast that David Bell touted Scott Heineman’s ability to hit left handed pitching. It’s true – I saw Bell say that. He’s got a .525 OPS in the Major Leagues against left-handed pitching in 84 plate appearances. Small sample size there, but that’s not hitting. In 2019, when he was mostly in the minor leagues he had an .818 OPS against left-handed pitching, which is solid, but his OPS against righties that year was .953. In 2018 his OPS was .767 against left-handed pitching and .827 against right-handed pitching. If you go back to 2017 we finally get to a season in which he actually hit left-handed pitching better than right-handed pitching. Of course he was in Double-A and that was four years ago…..
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Atlanta Braves vs Cincinnati Reds
Saturday June 26th, 4:10pm ET
Ian Anderson (5-3, 3.33 ERA) vs Luis Castillo (2-10, 5.61 ERA)