The Cincinnati Reds are in must-win mode as a loss today would have eliminated them from playoff contention. They wasted very little time getting to work and two Joey Votto home runs backed a good start for Reiver Sanmartin in his Major League debut as the Reds beat the Pirates by nearly the same amount as the Bengals beat the Steelers yesterday, winning 13-1 as they pounded out 17 hits on the day. The win guarantees a winning season for Cincinnati as they moved to 82-75 on the year.
|Pittsburgh Pirates (58-98)||1||6||2|
|Cincinnati Reds (82-75)||13||17||0|
|W: Sanmartin (1-0) L: Overton (0-1)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
It turns out that the third time is the charm. Or at least that’s how it worked out for the Reds against Pirates starter Connor Overton, who had faced Cincinnati twice in the last two weeks and had kept them off of the board for 4.0 combined innings. The Reds went to work early. Jonathan India singled to lead off the bottom of the 1st and Max Schrock doubled to put two on for Nick Castellanos. He followed up with a sacrifice fly to put Cincinnati up 1-0. Joey Votto followed up with his 34th home run of the season to make it 3-0. Singles from Eugenio Suárez, Delino DeShields, and Tucker Barnhart then made it 4-0.
Three innings later it was more of the same, but this time against reliever Cody Ponce. Jonathan India doubled to lead off the inning and moved to third on an error. India scored on another sacrifice fly from Nick Castellanos. Joey Votto followed up with another 2-run homer, this one nearly leaving the stadium as it landed a few rows from the top of the stadium in right-center. Hawkeye estimated it at 466 feet. Eugenio Suárez followed up with his 29th homer of the year and it was 8-0 before the Pirates had a chance to react.
Cincinnati wasn’t close to being finished, yet. In the 6th inning they got some more help from the Pirates as another error led to Jonathan India reaching base to lead off the inning. After Max Schrock singled it was time for Nick Castellanos to do some more damage. The Reds right fielder picked up RBI 3, 4, and 5 with a 3-run homer to center – his 33rd homer of the season – making it an 11-1 game. In the next inning Jose Barrero was hit by a pitch and Jonathan India didn’t appreciate it, so he hit a baseball 440 feet into left field to make it 13-1.
Reiver Sanmartin was making his big league debut today. You never really know how that’s going to work out until the guy gets out there and actually does it. And for Sanmartin, it went quite well. At least for a while. The lefty held the Pirates off of the board through four innings, but Pittsburgh got on the board in the 5th after Anthony Alford doubled to lead off the inning and later scored on a wild pitch.
Cincinnati’s offense gave manager David Bell plenty of leeway in letting Sanmartin go. In the 6th inning the Pirates got a leadoff single, but Wilmer Difo was erased on a ground ball double play. But Pittsburgh then got a single, double, and a walk against the lefty to load the bases in an 8-1 game. That was enough for Bell to see and he went to the bullpen to bring on Art Warren. He got the job done, striking out Anthony Alford to end the inning and strand the bases loaded. That put a final stamp on Sanmartin’s line in his debut: 5.2IP, 5 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk, and 5 strikeouts.
With an 11-1 lead, Justin Wilson took the mound for the Reds in the 7th inning and tossed a hitless inning. Cionel Pérez took over in the 8th and the lefty took care of business as he fired out a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts. Dauri Moreta took over for the 9th inning with a 13-1 lead and had plans on keeping it there.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs Chicago White Sox
Tuesday September 28th, 8:10pm ET
Riley O’Brien (MLB Debut) vs Reynaldo Lopez (3-3, 3.16 ERA)