The Cincinnati Reds ended their 4-game losing streak by exploding for 12 runs in game two of their doubleheader on Wednesday against the St. Louis Cardinals in a game that featured the Cardinals calling for an inspection of the bat of Nick Castellanos after he hit a grand slam.
|St. Louis Cardinals (68-64)
|Cincinnati Reds (72-63)
|W: Gray (7-6) L: Happ (8-7)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Trailing 1-0 before they had a chance to come to the plate the Reds offense went to work quickly. Jonathan India led off the 1st with a double and scored when Nick Castellanos homered for the 25th time in 2021. Joey Votto walked and at first appeared to score on a 2-run homer by Eugenio Suárez, but the play was reviewed and was ruled a double off of the top of the wall. The umpires placed Votto and third on the play. Both would be stranded.
Things got far more interesting in the 2nd inning. Sonny Gray, Jonathan India, and Tyler Stephenson all singled to load the bases with no outs to begin the inning and bring Nick Castellanos back to the plate. The 4th pitch he saw was obliterated into the Reds bullpen for a grand slam that put Cincinnati up 6-1. But Cardinals manager Mike Shildt came onto the field and wanted the umpires to check his bat for *something*.
The umpires had a conversation with Shildt, then came to the Reds dugout where they had a discussion with Castellanos and manager David Bell, as well as inspected the bat, which appeared to be broken/chipped at the cup end of the barrel. After a minute or two long discussion the umpires then went to the review headset to confer with someone on the other end. After a minute or two there they came back and ruled things were good to go, the grand slam counted, and the show must go on. But the bat, however, could not as it was deemed to be a broken bat and had to be “retired” for safety reasons.
Cincinnati wasn’t finished. Joey Votto would single after the on-field delay, which would wind up being the last batter that J.A. Happ would face. Junior Fernandez came out of the bullpen for the Cardinals and struck out Eugenio Suárez. But Kyle Farmer wasn’t having it and crushed a long 2-run homer into right-center to make it 8-1. Fernandez had to then exit the game mid at-bat with an injury while facing Aristides Aquino. Daniel Ponce De Leon came on and walked Aquino. Delino DeShields then doubled, plating Aquino, and when the throw back to the infield bounced away from Nolan Arenado, DeShields took third. After Sonny Gray struck out for the second out of the inning, Jonathan India walked to put runners on the corners for Tyler Stephenson. He would pop out on an absolutely incredible catch by Tommy Edman who caught the ball as he collided with the tarp, flipped over it and landed on the net and in the first row of the seats. The inning was finally over and the Reds were up 9-1.
Walks will haunt and that proved to be true in the 3rd inning when Nick Castellanos walked to begin the inning and came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Kyle Farmer as Cincinnati extended their lead to 10-1. Another hit by Delino DeShields, a single, would bring in another run to make it 11-1 before the inning was over.
After missing out on a homer on review earlier in the game, Eugenio Suárez left no doubt about it in the bottom of the 5th as he sent one into the upper deck in left field – a 412-foot homer – to extend the lead to 12-2. That would be more than enough for the Reds to pull out the win and put an end to their losing streak.
Tommy Edman is going to be able to pull some highlights from this game and he got things started by leading off the game with a solo home run to put the Cardinals up 1-0. But from there Sonny Gray retired the next eight batters before a breaking ball hit Edman on the foot with two outs in the 3rd inning. Gray worked around it by getting Paul Goldschmidt to ground into a force out and keep his newly minted 9-1 lead intact.
With the Reds extending their lead to 11-1 in the 3rd, it was easy for Sonny Gray to move on past a solo homer allowed to Nolan Arenado in the 4th inning. Gray retired the next five batters to complete his day with five innings of 2-run baseball.
Jeff Hoffman came on for the 6th inning and made quick work of the Cardinals as he fired a perfect inning with two strikeouts to hold onto a 12-2 lead. Amir Garrett entered the game in the 7th and retired the first two batters he faced before Ali Sanchez doubled off of the wall in left. That would be it for the Cardinals, though, as a fly out to center followed and the game was over.
Notes Worth Noting
With the win in game two the Cincinnati Reds took back the second wild card spot from the San Diego Padres.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Detroit Tigers vs Cincinnati Reds
Friday September 3rd, 7:10pm ET
Tyler Alexander (2-2, 4.34 ERA) vs Vladimir Gutierrez (9-5, 4.03 ERA)