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.
|Detroit Tigers (64-73)
|Cincinnati Reds (73-64)
|W: Mahle (11-5) L: Boyd (3-8) SV: Givens (5)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread
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.
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)