Aristides Aquino’s 3-run homer capped off a 5-run third inning that put the Cincinnati Reds ahead for good on Saturday night as they beat the Detroit Tigers 7-4. The win evened up the series, setting up a winner-takes-the-series game on Sunday afternoon.

Final R H E
Detroit Tigers (64-73)
4 8 0
Cincinnati Reds (73-64)
7 10 0
W: Mahle (11-5) L: Boyd (3-8) SV: Givens (5)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati’s offense began to threaten almost immediately. Jonathan India walked and Tyler Stephenson singled to put runners on 1st and 2nd to begin the 1st inning. But Nick Castellanos, Joey Votto, and Eugenio Suárez failed to capitalize and stranded two runners. Aristides Aquino would walk in the next inning, but that was all they could get going.

After the Tigers dropped three runs in the top of the 3rd inning it was time for Cincinnati’s offense to get to work. Tyler Stephenson got things going with a 1-out single and moved to third base on a Nick Castellanos double. Joey Votto’s single got the Reds on the board as Stephenson scored and Castellanos moved up to third base. A sacrifice fly followed from Eugenio Suárez that made it 3-2. Kyle Farmer had an infield single, leading to Aristides Aquino ambushing the first pitch he saw and lining a go-ahead 3-run homer into the left field seats to put Cincinnati up 5-3.

The Reds offense went quiet after that for a bit. They would get a runner on in each of the 4th, 5th, and 6th, but couldn’t get anything going beyond that. In the 7th inning Cincinnati padded their lead. Walks will haunt and they certainly did just that as Joey Votto and Eugenio Suárez both walked and David Bell opted to pinch-hit Tyler Naquin for Aristides Aquino to face a righty and the move paid off as Naquin smacked a triple into the right field corner to make it a 7-4 game. Jonathan India would double in the 8th inning, but a line drive turned into a double play to end the inning and send the game to the 9th with Cincinnati holding a 3-run lead.

The Pitching

Tyler Mahle has struggled in Cincinnati this year in a big way. And the first inning seemed to start out with another “oh no, not again” scenario as Robbie Grossman led off with a double. After a ground out, Miguel Cabrera walked to put two men on. A force out followed, but put runners on the corners. A second walk in the inning loaded the bases. Mahle got a visit out at the mound and then took care of business, striking out Harold Castro on three pitches to end a 24-pitch inning without any damage done. Things went much smoother in the next inning as Mahle retired the bottom of the lineup in order.

Detroit didn’t waste an opportunity in the 3rd inning. Jonathan Schoop doubled with one out and Miguel Cabrera walked for the second time in the game. That set up Eric Haase for a 3-run homer to put the Tigers on the board first. After a scoreless 4th inning, Detroit went back to work and got some help from Tyler Mahle in the 5th. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with two outs. Then Mahle walked Dustin Garneau to bring in a run and cut the Reds lead to 5-4. That was all the Tigers could get that inning, though, as Derek Hill grounded out to end the inning.

It was a tough day for Tyler Mahle, but he battled through it for five innings and left with a 5-4 lead. Lucas Sims took over in the 6th inning and fired a perfect frame to hold the lead. Michael Lorenzen came out for the 7th and he did the same thing. After the Reds scored two runs and extended their lead to 7-4, Lorenzen returned to the mound for the 8th. The first out came on a line drive back to Lorenzen, but then Dustin Garneau crushed a ground rule double into left center. Niko Goodrum struck out on a check swing for the second out, bringing up Akil Badoo for the first time on the night after he entered earlier in a double switch. He flew out on a shallow fly ball to center to end the inning and the threat as the game headed to the bottom of the 8th.

Holding onto a 7-4 lead, the Reds turned the 9th inning over to Mychal Givens to face the top of the Detroit order. Robbie Grossman led off with a looping liner into left for a single. Givens struck out Jonathan Schoop on three pitches to follow and record the first out of the inning. Two pitches later Miguel Cabrera grounded into a game ending double play.

Notes Worth Noting

Milwaukee beat St. Louis.

Miami beat Philadelphia.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Detroit Tigers vs Cincinnati Reds

Sunday September 5th, 1:10pm

Casey Mize (7-7, 3.59 ERA) vs Luis Castillo (7-14, 4.30 ERA)

28 Responses

  1. Tomn

    Nice win and nice team game actually. Lorenzen really looked good tonight. We need him in there more often. Need to win this series tomorrow. The Cards are losing, the Phillies lost. Now if the Astros can come back and beat the Padres…

  2. Grand Salami

    Out in 142 tonight. Lively crowd. Rain kept it smaller. Aquino continues to show why he is such a valuable piece as a 4/5 OF option.

    A lot of good defense to make up for last night. India was huge, DeShields looked better than anyone we’ve seen out there this year. Even Suarez got in on the act.

    Suarez still seems rudderless out there. The box looks good but he was taking strikes and swinging at balls but managed a Sac (pretty shallow) and coaxed a walk. He doesn’t quite look comfortable but he’s battling.

  3. Grand Salami

    PS. Ty Steph needs to be playing more. No if ands, or buts.

    • TR

      T. Stephenson is too good a hitter to not be in the lineup regularly.

    • Ahimsa

      Thought I heard someone say, during the game that he’s been working out in LF.

  4. Indy Red Man

    Nice win with alot of contributors! 4 shutout from the pen and Naquin continued his big surge! Keep going to the finish!!

    • TR

      Naquin and Stephenson should be in the lineup regardless who the opposition pitches.

      • MK

        I don’t get how a guy in the minors in another organization comes in a becomes a starting center fielder in a pennant race.

      • Doug Gray

        He’s not the starting center fielder. He’s the center fielder when a lefty is on the mound. Tyler Naquin is the starting center fielder.

  5. CFD3000

    Nearly complete reversal from last night. The defense in particular was very strong. India, Deshields, and Aquino all made strong plays. There was enough offense with key hits from Votto, Aquino and huge insurance runs thanks to Naquin. The pitching was certainly better but still not great. Mahle battled but gave up too many walks and one terrible mistake pitch to Haase. Sims looked pretty good and Givens had a nice bounce back, but even though Lorenzen got the job done there were some very hard hit balls in his two innings. I suspect the two line outs from Cabrera (only one off Lorenzen) had XBA at .700 or .800. But it was in the end a good team win and a key rebound off a lefty starter. A win tomorrow against a righty will be big in the standings and for the team’s confidence and momentum. And lastly thanks to all of you who held the weather off for those of us at the game. It looked like a possible rainout for quite awhile but except for one brief heavy shower it never happened. Good night to be at GABP. Go Reds!

  6. LT

    The rooks are balling. Indians and Stephenson will anchor Reds lineup for a long time. The veterans have no ball, up there looking for walks. Aquino is like a stoping clock, working once every 12 hrs, oops 12 games.

    Nice win Redlegs. Let’s go for series win!!!

  7. Steve

    Aquino 1 for his last 28 before big fly, has Not been a very valuable piece.

    • TR

      It worked last night in a big win, but an offense of homer or nothing has reemerged with Aquino and Suarez.

      • MK

        I have heard or read no comments about how Aquino’s approach at the plate has changed since his big debut month and big AAA season a couple years ago. If you remember in his setup his left foot was wide open to the point his torso or belt buckle was facing the pitcher and his hands were in front of his body pointing at the pitcher. Starting in 2020 he is still open but much more closed. The changes in success has been dramatic.

      • MK

        I have heard or read no comments about how Aquino’s approach at the plate has changed since his big debut month and big AAA season a couple years ago. If you remember in his setup his left foot was wide open to the point his torso or belt buckle was facing the pitcher and his hands were in front of his body pointing at the pitcher. Starting in 2020 he is still open but much more closed. The changes in success has been dramatic. Donnie Eckes was the guy who supposedly came up with the original approach and it seemed to leave when Ecker left.

  8. Hanawi

    Good win with losses by the Cards and Phils. Hope for the series tomorrow.

    Homers in AAA by Crook and Barrero with another shutout inning by Moreta tonight. Would sure like to see these guys helping the Reds hold off the Pads instead.

    • CI3J

      Barrero and Moreta both should absolutely be with the team and getting significant playing time.

      But I’m not sure what Crook would bring. He’s been a pretty below-average hitter for his career in the minors, although he’s been on a tear of late. Still, I’m not sure he would be much of an upgrade over either Aquino or Shogo. Plus, Winker will be back before long, at which point the outfield every single night should be Winker/Naquin/Castellanos. Where would Crook fit in?

      • Hanawi

        He’d bring more than Deshields. Total nepotism on that move. And frankly, he’d bring more than Aquino likely (today’s homer notwithstanding). He’s been on fire for the last month, while AA has been really bad.

  9. Tom Reeves

    5 RBIs out of the 7 hole. Nice line up and substitutions by David Bell.

    • greenmtred

      Indeed, and we now have an interesting situation: the most ardent Bell critics are so invested in how bad they think he is that they seem unable to acknowledge or appreciate a win, or how much fun this team has been to follow this season.

  10. gusnwally

    I am reasonably certain that tyler Mahle went to the same school of listening and retention as Homer Baley.

  11. Hotto4Votto

    I certainly had thoughts of Mahle and Hyde during the game. Just don’t know if the small dimensions get in his head or what. Glad he was able to do some damage control and get through. The bullpen was night and day from last night.
    Solid offense overall and a big blast from Aquino. Good use of Naquin and Aquino by Bell to maximize their effectiveness. Overall, I don’t think Aquino’s much more than a reserve OF, big bat off the bench, but it’s amusing to me that he now has a higher OPS than Farmer and the exact same OPS+. The difference in opinion by some around here on their offense doesn’t really match the production. One’s constantly being put on the chopping block and the other is too good to move out of the lineup even for one of the top prospects in baseball. It’s funny how perspective works.

    • Arthur

      I don’t buy Aquino as more than what we are seeing now – very low average, an occasional bolt of lightning, and a pretty good defensive outfielder with a strong arm. That’s not great, but it surely doesn’t make him useless.

      But I absolutely see what you are saying about perspective. The thing Farmer has going for him is that he plays SS, a premiere defensive position, AND he stepped up when the only alternative seemed to be Suarez. And that was an unmitigated disaster from every perspective. But – why does that contribution mean that the team can never ever play Barrero at SS and perhaps move Farmer to another spot? Like, perhaps, 3B??

      One commenter was happy that Suarez drew a walk and hit a sacrifice fly last night. Is the bar for him so low that hitting an easy fly ball and not chasing pitches out of the strike zone is now considered a good performance???

      Play Barrero at SS for the rest of the year. Let things fall into place around him. If he goes 1-30, like Aquino, Moustakas, and Suarez have done this season, then maybe we can re-visit the topic.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I think we view Aquino similarly. It’s what I tried to convey by saying reserve OF with a big bat (occasionally running into one). And while Aquino is a solid OF’er his contributions on that side of the equation are limited as he tends to play LF, making Farmer’s contributions at SS much more valuable as it comes at a key position. But, my point wasn’t about defense, it was about offense. And while they get there different ways, they’re essentially equally productive on that side, which is still below average. This also falls in line with how I view Farmer, as a great option on the bench who can fill in all over the field (especially against LH) but not someone who is going to be a plus as an everyday player. I’m certainly not against giving him some time at 3B if we continue to get the same level of production there.
        Considering defense though, Barrero is rated as better defender and has more offensive upside. He currently leads the Reds minor league system in HRs while sporting an avg over .300 and an above average BB% (10%) for the season. It appears he’s got the whole package and just needs consistent playing time to acclimate to the ML level. That’ll probably come next season though.

      • greenmtred

        It is a decent performance. Suarez has had a terrible year, but he was a very big part of the Reds’ offense as recently as two years ago. If he returned to a semblance of that, it would make a big difference. Signs of life are worth cautious celebration, and the comment was in response to a comment that he only hits homers or strikes out.

  12. doofus

    .680 winning % needed to reach 90 wins (17-8).

    The Reds were 56-50 at the 106 game mark. The discussion focused on attaining 90 wins. At that time the Reds needed to win .607 of the remaining 56 games.

    Since that time they have a .548 winning %, 17-14. Unfortunately, I do not believe they have enough talent to win 90. Eighty-five to 87 is more likely.

  13. burtgummer01

    1. Jonathan India (R) 2B
    2. Tyler Naquin (L) CF
    3. Nick Castellanos (R) RF
    4. Joey Votto (L) 1B
    5. Mike Moustakas (L) 3B
    6. Kyle Farmer (R) SS
    7. Tucker Barnhart (L) C
    8. Max Schrock (L) LF
    9. Luis Castillo (R) P