Nick Senzel made the game’s biggest defensive and offensive plays in the final two innings to pace the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-4 10-inning victory over the Washington Nationals before 10,064 at Nationals Park.
|Cincinnati Reds (49-39)||5||6||0|
|Washington Nationals (34-53)
|W: Santillan (1-0) L: Harvey (3-4) Sv: Diaz (25)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Senzel’s amazing, running catch with the game tied in the bottom of the ninth prevented the Nationals from winning the game in regulation time. Then, on the first pitch of the top of the 10th, he crushed what turned into the game-winning homer.
The win — Cincinnati’s fifth straight, and 18th in their past 21 road games — moved the Reds to 10 games over .500, and kept them two games ahead of the second-place Milwaukee Brewers, who won today against the Chicago Cubs. This comes ahead of what is probably the franchise’s biggest series of the past decade — three at Milwaukee beginning Friday night.
The win also completed a four-game sweep of the Nationals on their home field.
Elly De La Cruz led off the second inning with a single, stole second, and then took third on a fly ball to left field by Spencer Steer. Then …
Rain, rain, go away… pic.twitter.com/bo9AMFQZkC
— Bally Sports Cincinnati (@BallySportsCIN) July 6, 2023
The rain delay lasted one hour and 43 minutes, after which Nationals starter lefty MacKenzie Gore was replaced by righty reliever Mason Thompson. The inning ended oddly when Tyler Stephenson hit a grounder to drawn-in shortstop CJ Abrams, who threw home for the out on De La Cruz. Unfortunately, Stephenson slipped and fell out of the batters’ box on his way to first, and as a result was thrown out there for a double play.
Next inning, Will Benson drew a walk with one out and advanced to second on a Luke Maile groundout. Kevin Newman then grounded one into left field to score Benson for a 1-0 Reds lead.
Trailing 2-1 in the sixth, Cincinnati tied it on a two-out double down the left field line by De La Cruz — his sixth consecutive hit while batting righthanded. Pinch-hitter TJ Friedl scored from second, but Matt McLain was thrown out at the plate trying to score the go-ahead run from first base.
Trailing 3-2 in the eighth, Benson led off with an opposite-field double, was bunted to third by Friedl, and then scored on a pinch-hit single by Joey Votto to tie the game at 3-3.
In the tenth, with “free runner” Stephenson aboard, Senzel unloaded and hit a 2-run home run on a 98 mph Hunter Harvey get-ahead fastball to put the visitors ahead for good.
Brandon Williamson had an effective and pitch-efficient first inning, and then surprisingly, he returned after the rain delay. In the second inning, he again retired Washington in order. He kept the Nationals scoreless in the third despite allowing a double and walk and throwing 35 pitches. That led to the Reds’ bullpen gate opening, with Buck Farmer emerging.
After a 1-2-3 fourth inning, Washington scored two runs to take the lead after it looked like the inning was over. With Abrams at second, Farmer threw to second for what looked like a sure pickoff. Jonathan India then threw to De La Cruz at third, but Abrams’ inventive slide eluded the tag. He was called out, but the replay review overturned the out call. Lane Thomas then singled to left to plate Abrams and Alex Call. Ian Gibaut came on to close out the inning without further damage, leaving the Reds’ deficit at 2-1.
Gibaut pitched a scoreless sixth, punctuated by a groundout down the third base line that saw Elly De La Cruz field the ball and fire a 95.6 MPH throw across the diamond for the out.
You can count on one hand and maybe one finger the number of major league third basemen who can make that play without one-hopping the throw to first.
Daniel Duarte took over in the seventh, allowing a solo homer to Call for a 3-2 Washington lead. Lucas Sims followed with a 1-2-3 eighth to preserve a 3-3 tie.
Tony Santillan made his 2023 MLB debut in the tightest of situations, with the game tied in the bottom of the ninth. He allowed a one-out double to Riley Adams, followed by a blast to right by Abrams. Nick Senzel, playing right field, then did this:
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 6, 2023
It saved the game because the hit would have scored Adams easily. Of course, in the next inning, Senzel made an even bigger play.
Called upon to save the day in the 10th, Alexis Diaz allowed a leadoff single to Lane Thomas to score the “free runner,” then hit Jeimer Candelario with a pitch to put the winning run on first base with nobody out. But he then struck out Dominick Smith, retired Corey Dickerson on a grounder which advanced the runners to second and third, and retired Keibert Ruiz on a fly to center field to end it.
Nick Senzel’s 10th-inning home run kept the Cincinnati Reds’ streak of homers in a game alive.
The Reds are 20-4 over their last 24 games. Today was their 5th straight win. It was their 32nd come-from-behind win of the season.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers
Friday, July 10, 8:10 p.m. ET
Andrew Abbott (4-0, 1.21 ERA) vs. Corbin Burnes (6-5, 4.00 ERA)