A five-run second inning stood up for the Cincinnati Reds in a 5-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals before 16,931 at Kauffman Stadium.
|Cincinnati Reds (33-35)||5||5||1|
|Kansas City Royals (18-49)
|W: Williamson (1-0) L: Lyles (0-11) SV: Diaz (16)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
After scoring five runs in the second to take a 5-1 lead, Cincinnati’s offense went basically silent for the rest of the game. But the pitching staff took over, with the bullpen shutting down the home team over the final four innings to preserve a one-run victory.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 14, 2023
It was also the Reds’ ninth win in their last 11 road games. The Reds go for the three-game sweep Wednesday.
As this wrapup article goes live, the Reds have now pulled within a game and a half of second-place Milwaukee, which blew a ninth-inning lead in a 7-5 loss to Minnesota tonight. Cincinnati at the moment is three games behind first-place Pittsburgh, which was tied against the Cubs in Chicago in the sixth inning at 10:45 p.m. Eastern time. Also, Cincinnati is only two games behind San Francisco for the third and final National League wild-card playoff berth.
Elly De La Cruz led off the second inning with a walk, stole second and went to third on a bad throw. Spencer Steer then lined a hit to left to tie the score at 1-1. An RBI double by Kevin Newman made it 2-1, and Stuart Fairchild followed with a single to make it 3-1. T.J. Friedl then singled to right to score Newman for a 4-1 lead. Fairchild and Friedl then double-stole third and second, respectively. Matt McLain then walked to load the bases with one out. Jonathan India popped up to right field for out number two. With De La Cruz up for the second time in the inning, a Jordan Lyles wild pitch scored run number five.
India and De La Cruz, the last two outs of the second inning were the first of 14 Reds in a row retired by Lyles after the five-run second-inning uprising by Cincinnati.
Royals reliever Jackson Kowar extended that streak to 16 before issuing a two-out walk to Friedl in the seventh. India’s eighth-inning walk was the only other baserunner of the night for Cincinnati.
Friedl’s two hits paced the Reds hitters.
“This team is full of grinders. We’re going to find a way to win.”
TJ Friedl praised the bullpen and his teammates for this win tonight.
— Bally Sports Cincinnati (@BallySportsCIN) June 14, 2023
Brandon Williamson surrendered an unearned run in the first, due primarily to a tapper by Bobby Witt Jr. off to Williamson’s right that he rushed in throwing to first. The throw bounced to first, resulting in runners on first and third with one out. R.J. Melendez then hit a deep sacrifice fly to right that would have been the third out had it not been for Williamson’s errant throw.
Second-inning doubles by Edward Olivares and Matt Duffy scored KC’s second run to make it 5-2 Reds after two. A two-run homer by Witt drew KC within 5-4 in the third.
Williamson went the first five innings, allowing seven hits and three earned runs. Significantly, he did not issue any walks.
Righty Daniel Duarte, recalled from Louisville earlier in the day, retired the side in order on seven pitches in the sixth in his first major league appearance since April 2022.
Ian Gibaut entered in the bottom of the seventh, and three of the first four batters he faced reached on two walks and a hit batsman. That prompted Manager David Bell to summon Lucas Sims, who responded by striking out Nick Pratto looking and Salvador Perez swinging.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 14, 2023
Sims then allowed only a two-out single in the eighth facing the heart of the KC order. Sims was definitely the Reds’ pitching star of the game.
Alexis Diaz entered in the ninth and retired the Royals in order for his 16th save.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 13, 2023
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds at Kansas City Royals
Wednesday, June 14, 8:10 p.m. ET
Ben Lively (3-4, 4.21 ERA) vs. Daniel Lynch (0-2, 4.41 ERA)