Cincinnati got out to an 8-0 lead on a Jose Barrero grand slam off of the light tower in left field. Things were going well until the final two innings when the Red Sox just beat up on the Reds bullpen and scored eight runs and had the tying run on third base before Alexis Diaz was able to close out the game.
|Cincinnati Reds (25-29)
|Boston Red Sox (28-26)
|W: Lively (3-2) L: Bello (3-3) SV: Diaz (13)|
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The Reds were able to load the bases in the top of the 1st inning but came up empty on cashing in. Ben Lively would retire the Red Sox in order in the bottom half of the inning and when Cincinnati came to the plate in the 2nd they got back to work. Will Benson lined a 1-out single into center and then moved up to third base on a single by Stuart Fairchild. Benson then scored on a fielders choice that saw TJ Friedl beat the relay throw to first base on an attempted double play.
Boston put together a bit of a rally in their half of the 2nd inning. Masataka Yoshida walked to lead off the inning and moved to third base on a Jarren Duran double. Ben Lively got a ground out to Jonathan India, who held the runners and got the out at first base. Another walk would load the bases, but Lively got out of the jam with a strikeout and a line out to strand all three runners and hold onto a 1-0 lead.
Will Benson led off the 4th inning with a fly ball high off of the Green Monster in left center and hustled around the bases for a triple. He would be stranded there after a ground out and back-to-back strikeouts. When the bottom of the inning started TJ Friedl was replaced in center by Jose Barrero. Friedl had a slight limp after his ground ball fielders choice in the 2nd inning, but remained in the game after being checked on by the trainer.
Jonathan India led off the 5th inning with a laser off of the wall for a single. He then raced around the bases and scored from first base on a Jake Fraley double to center to extend Cincinnati’s lead to 2-0. The Reds couldn’t capitalize beyond there and the game headed to the bottom of the 5th as Ben Lively returned to the mound with 62 pitches under his belt. Enrique Hernandez led off with a single to give the Red Sox some life, but Lively struck out the next two batters before Raimel Tapia crushed a ball off of the Green Monster. Jose Barrero caught it on the ricochet and fired it towards the infield as Hernandez rounded third. Matt McLain took the relay and fired to the plate where Tyler Stephenson was able to tag out Hernandez to end the inning and keep the shutout alive.
Cincinnati went to work in the top of the 6th and they got some help along the way. Will Benson led off with a single – his third hit of the day – and then he moved up to second on a wild pitch. Jose Barrero worked a 1-out walk. Matt McLain then grounded a ball to shortstop, and Enrique Hernandez threw the ball into right field, bringing Benson in to score to make it 3-0.
Lively returned for the bottom of the 6th inning and struck out Rafael Devers to start the frame and then got Justin Turner to ground out. But Masataka Yoshida singled and that led to a pitching change to bring in Alex Young to face Jarren Duran in a lefty-on-left match up. The move paid off as a soft fly ball to Stuart Fairchild ended the inning and kept Cincinnati on top by three runs.
Things kept on going for the Reds in the top of the 7th. The first three batters of the inning reached base. After a ground out led to a force out at the plate, Stuart Fairchild walked to bring in a run and make it 4-0. Three pitches later Jose Barrero hit a ball off of the light tower in left field for a grand slam to make it 8-0.
Fernando Cruz took over the game in the bottom of the 7th. After getting the first two batters out he gave up a single, double, then a triple that made it 8-2. A broken bat single followed to bring in another run and cut the Reds lead to five before a fly out finally put the inning to a close. Cincinnati got one of those runs back when Tyler Stephenson tripled off of the wall in center and then scored on a sacrifice fly off of the bat of Spencer Steer.
Buck Farmer had to work around a leadoff single, but he was able to with the help of a double play on a line drive caught by right fielder Stuart Fairchild that saw Masataka Yoshida forget how many outs there were and easily be doubled off at second base.
Eduardo Salazar took the mound to start the bottom of the 9th inning. After getting Enrique Hernandez out, he walked Enmanuel Valdez before a double and single followed to make it 9-4 and put runners on the corners. That led to a mound visit from pitching coach Derek Johnson. Two more singles followed and it was 9-6 with runners on first and second, leading to a pitching change.
Cincinnati had to call on closer Alexis Diaz to try and salvage the game. Things did not go well and Masataka Yoshida doubled in another run to make it a 9-7 ballgame and place the tying run on second base. A ground out led to the second out of the inning, but a run scored and the tying run advanced to third base. Diaz came through with a strikeout of Triston Casas to end the game.
Key Moment of the Game
Before the bottom of the 9th inning it would have easily have been Jose Barrero’s grand slam, but we’ll have to go with Alexis Diaz striking out Tristan Casas with the tying run on third base to end the game.
Notes Worth Noting
Ben Lively did not strike out more than four batters in a game while he was in Triple-A this season. He’s struck out eight, eight, and six in his three starts this season in the big leagues. His ERA with the Reds this season dropped to 1.99 in his 28.2 innings between three starts and two relief appearances.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs Boston Red Sox
Wednesday May 31st, 7:10pm ET
Luke Weaver (1-2, 5.45 ERA) vs James Paxton (1-1, 5.14 ERA)