Two home runs by Bo Bichette accounted for all of the Toronto Blue Jays’ offense in a 3-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Rogers Center in Toronto.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (11-28) 1 7 1
Toronto Blue Jays (22-18)
3 7 0
W: Manoah (5-1) L: Cessa (2-1)  SV: Romano (14)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Cincinnati wasted a tremendous outing by Hunter Greene, who allowed only four hits (including a solo homer by Bichette) and two walks over 6 innings. Toronto’s victory assured that they would win the series, breaking the Reds’ streak of four consecutive series which they either won or split. In other words, non-losing series.

The Offense

In the top of the fourth with the game scoreless, T.J. Friedl led off with a single to right, and Tyler Naquin followed with a hustle double to right. Tommy Pham hit a broken-bat soft liner back to pitcher Alek Manoah, who quickly threw to third to double off Friedl. But Toronto native Joey Votto came through with two outs:

The Reds missed an opportunity in the seventh with the game tied at 1. Tyler Stephenson led off with a double, and a Mike Moustakas groundout advanced him to third with one out. But Colin Moran struck out, and Alejo Lopez was retired on a nice play by Toronto second baseman Santiago Espinal to end the inning.

After Bichette’s second homer gave Toronto a 3-1 lead in the seventh, Cincinnati was retired in order in the eighth and ninth innings.

Naquin and Lopez had two hits apiece to pace the Reds.

The Pitching

Greene had his second consecutive fantastic start. Following his 7 1/3 no-hit innings against Pittsburgh Sunday, he threw 82 pitches today, 54 for strikes, with 24 pitches at 100 mph or more. The only run Greene allowed was a solo homer to Bichette on what looked like a pretty good slider low in the strike zone.

In a moment that showed high-level competitiveness and maturity, in the bottom of the sixth with two outs and the bases loaded, Greene struck out Matt Chapman to end the inning.

The Toronto sixth-inning rally began with two outs and nobody on. A Mike Moustakas error at third on a routine grounder opened the door, followed by a single and walk to load the bases preceding the Chapman strikeout. In past weeks, the scenario was one that could have unraveled very quickly for the Reds. Not this time. Manager David Bell said after the game it may have been his favorite Greene moment of the year:

Over his last three starts, Greene’s ERA is 1.93, which certainly belies the 0-2 record.

Very interestingly, BaseballSavant said that Greene threw only four-seam fastballs and sliders in this game. He has a changeup, but didn’t throw it today, according to BaseballSavant. Also, our Doug Gray reported on Twitter earlier today:

That remains the case after today’s game. It’s commonly believed that starting pitchers can’t survive with only two pitches, because they have to face hitters more than once in a game. It will be very interesting to see how the coaching staff will try to further develop Greene’s changeup or some other third pitch. That may be the next chapter in the story of Greene’s evolution.

Luis Cessa came on in the seventh and surrendered a two-out two-run homer to Bichette, his second of the game, which turned out to be the difference in the game.

Jeff Hoffman pitched a shutout eighth inning to drop his ERA to 1.74.

News and notes

This web gem by TJ Friedl was Greene’s first out of the game:

Tyler Stephenson continued to show opponents that they shouldn’t try to run on him:

Cincinnati played its second consecutive game with only 25 players on the active roster, one less than what is allowed. It didn’t prove to be a factor today since none of the position-player reserves were used.

After the game, the Reds announced that Connor Overton has been scratched from Sunday’s scheduled start due to a sore back, and Graham Ashcraft will instead make his major league debut. This probably shouldn’t be considered a surprise, as it is a requirement to experience a physical ailment if you are on the 2022 Reds major league roster, correct? (Just kidding, it just seems that way.)

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds at Toronto Blue Jays

Sunday, May 22, 1:37 p.m. ET

Graham Ashcraft (MLB Debut) vs. Yusei Kikuchi (2-1, 3.38 ERA)

39 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    Perfect title. Extra points for using “wasted” in the article itself.

  2. RedsFanInFL

    I posted yesterday Reds 0-5 when both teams score 3 or less. Now 0-6

  3. SteveO

    Fraley on rehab at Dayton leading off in CF.

    • Votto4life

      The Dragons play better when they aren’t hosting Reds on Rehab assignment.

  4. SteveO

    Senzel, Barrero batting 1-2 for Louisville

  5. Doc4uk

    Overton with a sore back. What in the world is going on with the Reds training program? That is actually a question that must be asked. Sore backs, shoulders, hamstrings, calf muscles. Has any major league team ever had the number of muscle injuries ? You don’t see this type frequency with any other team so what gives?

    Also it seems as if the players did not come to spring training fully prepared to play a long major league schedule and it now shows.

      • Still a Red

        Maybe there’s something going on with the mechanics that’s different.

      • DaveCT

        It’s not the training program. That’s a smoke screen. I haven”t seen roster manipulation like this is a long time. A very long time.

  6. SteveO

    Overton pushed back to the 23rd? Or Gutierrez making start on that day. He hasn’t pitched in over a week, so should be well rested.

  7. Daytonnati

    I am really surprised that the Reds are starting Ashcraft tomorrow. So unReds-like, historically. I think the FO realizes the public relations disaster this season has been and are doing everything they can to maintain interest.

    I’ll be watching, so it worked 🙂

    • Still a Red

      Actually I think this is the organizations new thinking…play the young uns while they are cheap. Then let ’em go before 3rd year arbitration.

      • Joey Red

        That’s absolutely correct. All young players once established are seen as bargaining chips by the Reds as opposed to a foundation for winning. Watch them now because they won’t be here long.

  8. LDS

    Ashcraft needs a perfect game tomorrow. Quite likely a sweep in the making?

  9. Doc

    Overton’s back is probably sore from carrying the team while showing Greene and Mahle how to pitch. Great job by Greene again today. Could be a star in the making, until his turn at sore back comes up.

  10. Hanawi

    Another good start by Greene. Overall starting pitching has been much better lately. After tomorrow, Reds have 15 of 17 at home, which will help even out the schedule a bit. They have played a bunch of road games so far and have been terrible on the road.

  11. Melvin

    Still on pace for 63 wins which means less than 100 losses. Bright side? 🙂

    • Chris Holbert

      Where is that math coming from?

      • Votto4life

        I have them on pace to win 48 games. Math is not my strong suit though

      • Melvin

        You are absolutely correct. hahaha My apologies. Maybe I’m just trying to be too optimistic. At least give me credit for that. It’s not easy. 🙂

    • Votto4life


      Help me with the math. They are playing .282
      ball. I have them on pace to finish 48-116. Am I wrong?

      • Votto4life

        JB Good point. Lol but I still believe they are in pace to win under 50 games. I was a history major so there is that

      • Maloney63

        162 x .282 = 46 wins which also = 116 losses. They won’t end up losing that many but 100 losses seems inevitable with this offense.

      • Melvin

        Hahahaha I’d better be very careful in the future. At least I got the attention of you all. 🙂 Which wasn’t my intention necessarily. So I get it now. It’s not just very very bad but downright pathetic. Hunter Greene is a bright spot though.

      • Votto4life

        Actually, I am not all that confident they won’t lose that many games. The Reds are not a very good baseball team.

        Getting India back will help, but I am not sure there are a lot of difference makers currently on the IL.

        Obviously, the health situation is never static, so even as some players become healthier, others could go the other direction. If they trade Mahle and/or Castillo in July, that is also going to make a bad situation worse.

        I think it’s likely the Reds will lose between 100 and 110 games this year. I am looking forward to the off-season when they might possibly correct their course (even though that seems somewhat unlikely).

  12. Brian Rutherford

    Curious. Could it be a Vaccination issue with Overton? The Reds put Ashcraft on the taxi squad before the series as if they might already know something

    • JB

      Can’t be vaccination. He wouldn’t be allowed in Canada. They would have changed him as starter earlier.

  13. jessecuster44

    Can we all agree that those camp caps are ridiculous? An eyesore. Pandering to the military.

  14. Jim t

    As someone who served 20 years in the Military I really don’t know what to think of the caps.

    • greenmtred

      The Reds may feel the need to blend with their surroundings, to be invisible. It would take more than caps.

  15. Redsvol

    7 hits should score more than 1 run. This has been several games now where the hitters aren’t able to string hits together in the same inning. We’re still playing the station-to-station type of offense that relies on the home run to score runs. We don’t have those type of players anymore. This is my worst criticism of Bell this year – he needs to adapt to the players he has. We have some players that can move but we don’t have the big boppers. He has to get more creative with hit and run stolen bases and bunts. We’ve seen a little bit but it needs to become a daily occurrence and the players need to execute.

    • greenmtred

      The Reds are not, collectively, a team of good hitters. To be fair, they were stringing hits together yesterday at one point, Runners on 2nd and third, and Pham hits a scorcher into the pitcher’s glove. Double play instead of two runs in. There have been more stolen base attempts by the eye test. But good situational hitting requires good situational hitters.