Graham Ashcraft was outstanding as he fired 6.0 shutout innings on Tuesday night. Cincinnati’s offense appreciated the effort, too, as they pounded out 16 hits and scored 14 runs as they beat down the Arizona Diamondbacks to pick up their 20th win of the season.
|Arizona Diamondbacks (26-31)
|Cincinnati Reds (20-35)||14||16||0|
|W: Ashcraft (3-0) L: Gilbert (0-3)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Cincinnati got out of the gate quickly on the night. Nick Senzel reached base via catchers interference once again. Tommy Pham would later draw a walk to put two men on for Joey Votto. The first baseman worked a full count before unloading on a 403-foot 3-run homer that gave the Reds a 3-0 lead. They weren’t finished, though. Kyle Farmer would draw a walk, steal second base, and then come around to score on an Albert Almora Jr. single to give Cincinnati a 4-0 lead after the 1st inning.
Tyler Gilbert didn’t have any more luck in the 2nd inning. He hit Nick Senzel with a pitch before giving up a 2-run homer to Brandon Drury – the 11th of his season. Tommy Pham doubled off of the wall in left and then scored on a Tyler Stephenson single that made it 7-0 and led to a pitching change with just two outs in the second inning.
The pitching change didn’t matter much. Aristides Aquino had a 1-out walk in the 3rd and Matt Reynolds followed with an opposite field homer to make it 9-0. Nick Senzel doubled and then Alejo Lopez, pinch hitting for Brandon Drury, walked. Tommy Pham would ground into a double play to end the threat. The offense went quiet from there, not scoring again until after a rain delay nearly three hours later.
Arizona came out of the rain delay swinging and scored five runs in the top of the 8th to cut into Cincinnati’s lead. That didn’t sit well, apparently. Tommy Pham hit a solo home run in the bottom of the frame and after a Joey Votto walk, Tyler Stephenson homered as well to make it 12-5. Albert Almora Jr. would single and move to third when Aristides Aquino doubled off of the wall in left. Matt Reynolds then singled in both of them, giving him four RBI on the night as the Reds made it 14-5. Arizona decided to go to a position player to finish out the inning and put Jake Hager on the mound to face Nick Senzel and while Senzel hit the ball hard it was nabbed at third base and thrown across the diamond for the out. Those five runs gave the Reds enough breathing room as they would hold on for the win.
Graham Ashcraft was in control of the game early, not allowing a hit to Arizona in the first three innings while getting seven ground outs, a fly out, and a strikeout. He began the 4th inning by catching a pop up on his own. Easy work. Not that Ashcraft needed much help, but when he did, Albert Almora Jr. was more than happy to oblige.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 8, 2022
Well, maybe we got ahead of ourselves because the next batter singled to Almora, but he was charged with an error as Ketel Marte was able to advance to second on the misplay. It didn’t matter much as Ashcraft got Christian Walker to line out on the very next pitch as he kept the shutout intact and maintained a 9-0 lead.
After a 1-2-3 5th inning, Graham Ashcraft gave up a leadoff double to Jake Hager. While the game wasn’t in doubt, the shutout could have been. The next batter grounded out, but Hager advanced to third base with just one out. Ashcraft locked in and he struck out the next two batters to escape the jam. With a 9-0 lead that would be the last batter he’d face despite having thrown just 76 pitches in his 6.0 shutout innings. The big right-handed starter left the game with a 1.14 ERA.
Jeff Hoffman took over for the 7th inning and he picked up right where Ashcraft left off by getting two ground outs to start the inning before striking out David Peralta to end the inning. Before the 8th inning started rain began to fall and the tarp came out.
Fortunately for the Reds they held a 9-run lead because when the tarp came off of the field the Diamondbacks took it to Jared Solomon. Jordan Luplow was hit by a pitch, Jake McCarthy doubled, and then Jake Hager walked to load the bases. That led to a visit from Derek Johnson. Whatever he said wasn’t it because the next pitch from Solomon landed five rows deep in the moon deck for the first home run of Geraldo Perdomo’s big league career. After getting the next two hitters out, Solomon gave up another home run as Arizona made it 9-5. That was the last pitch he threw as Cincinnati went to the bullpen to bring in Joel Kuhnel and he got out of the inning without any more damage.
Cincinnati’s offense matched Arizona’s top of the 8th output and scored five runs of their own to make it a 14-5 game. Joel Kuhnel returned for the top of the 9th. He ran into some problems, giving up three runs on four singles, but the Reds held on for a 14-8 win.
Notes Worth Noting
This seems good.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 8, 2022
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Arizona Diamondbacks vs Cincinnati Reds
Wednesday June 8th, 6:40pm ET
Merrill Kelly (4-3, 3.66 ERA) vs Mike Minor (0-1, 11.25 ERA)