It was the first game of spring training and the Cincinnati Reds made it a good one to watch. Matt McLain, the Reds 6th rated prospect, capped a come-from-behind win with a walk-off solo home run off of the top of the scoreboard in left-center to seal a 4-3 victory over the Cleveland Guardians.
Game Recap: Reds 4 – Guardians 3
Both teams scored a run in the 1st and 2nd innings before Cleveland grabbed a 3-2 lead in the 5th. That’s where the game remained until the bottom of the 8th when Cincinnati tied things up on a sacrifice fly by Henry Ramos. In the bottom of the 9th the Reds walked it off when Matt McLain crushed a solo home run that almost made it to San Diego.
Jonathan India was hit by a pitch in the 1st inning and he moved up to second on a wild pitch and then stole third base before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Wil Myers. In the next inning Will Benson hit a laser that ricocheted off of the first baseman’s glove for a single. He would then steal second base and later score on a steal of home after Cleveland’s catcher threw down to second base on what he believed was a double steal attempt (it wasn’t as the pitch in question was ruled ball four).
Trailing 3-2 entering the bottom of the 8th the backups went to work. Alex McGarry led off with a single and Alejo Lopez, who made a nice diving play at second base earlier in the game, followed up with a single of his own. After a bunt by Chuckie Robinson moved McGarry up to third he would score to tie the game up on a sacrifice fly by Henry Ramos.
In the top of the 9th Matt McLain made a nice backhanded stop at shortstop before flipping the ball to Alejo Lopez at second base to turn a double play that helped keep Cleveland off the board and the game tied up. That turned out to be a good thing as Matt McLain followed it up by hitting a ball off of the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning for a walk-off home run.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) February 25, 2023
On the pitching side of things Buck Farmer and Fernando Cruz tossed perfect innings of relief. Daniel Norris, Reiver Sanmartin, Daniel Duarte, and Ricky Karcher threw shutout innings in relief.
The first game of the spring lasted just 2:23. The pitch clock seemed to help move things along in a swift fashion.
Cincinnati hits the road to face off against the San Francisco Giants. Luke Weaver will start the game at 3:05pm ET. No television broadcast. The radio broadcast will be on 1360 WSAI.