Sonny Gray allowed just one hit over 7-innings of shutout baseball as the Cincinnati Reds held on for a 5-3 win over the Miami Marlins thanks to homers by Tyler Naquin and Joey Votto as they moved to 10 games over .500.
|Miami Marlins (51-72)
|Cincinnati Reds (67-57)
|W: Gray (5-6) L: Hernandez (0-1) SV: Givens (4)
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It didn’t take long for the Reds offense to get going. Tyler Naquin had a 1-out triple and scored on a Nick Castellanos double. Kyle Farmer would drive in another run later in the 1st with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
The offense went quiet for a few innings from there, but got back to it in the bottom of the 5th. Still up by two it was Naquin getting things going again. This time the outfielder crushed a solo home run with one out. Castellnoas was hit by a pitch. Karma came around rather quickly as Joey Votto took the next pitch and put it halfway up the seats in right center for his 28th homer of the year to make it 5-0. That was the last time Cincinnati would score as they managed just one baserunner the rest of the way.
Sonny Gray has battled consistency this season, but on Friday night he put together his best outing of the year. The Marlins managed just one hit against Gray over 7.0 innings where he allowed two walks to go with that hit and have five strikeouts. He left the game with a 5-0 lead and turned the game over to Lucas Sims in the 8th. Miami liked what they saw in that pitching change. Alex Johnson walked to lead off the inning and he moved up to third on a Miguel Rojas double. Jazz Chisholm then hit a laser into the right field seats to make it a 5-3 ballgame on a long 3-run homer.
Cincinnati’s offense went quietly in the bottom of the 8th, leaving it up to Mychal Givens to hold onto a 2-run lead and seal the win. He would strikeout Brian Anderson to begin the inning, but Lewis Brinson doubled into the gap in right center to bring the tying run to the plate. Jorge Alfaro had what equated to a swinging bunt as he hit a chopper about 10 feet down the line that Tucker Barnhart fielded and fired to Joey Votto at first for the second out as Brinson advanced to third. With the crowd at Great American Ball Park on their feat Givens fired a 96 MPH fastball by Alex Jackson. A 97 MPH fastball followed for a called strike. After taking ball 1, it was another 97 MPH fastball and Jackson swung through it to end the game.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Miami Marlins vs Cincinnati Reds
Saturday August 20, 6:40pm
Zach Thompson (2-5, 2.91 ERA) vs Wade Miley (9-4, 3.00 ERA)