Andrew Abbott out-dueled Corbin Burnes for six innings, with the rookie lefty exiting the game with nine strikeouts and a 2-0 lead. But the bullpen for both teams ran into problems in the 9th inning that saw a combined five runs scored before the Reds managed to escape with a 1-run victory to pull themselves within a half-game of the Brewers in the division.
|Cincinnati Reds (56-47)||4||6||0|
|Milwaukee Brewers (56-46)||3||10||0|
|W: Abbott (6-2) L: Burnes (9-6) SV: Diaz (30)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
After working around a single in the 1st inning, Andrew Abbott had to try and to it again in the 2nd. Joey Wiemer led off with a single and then Victor Caratini had a 1-out single to put runners on the corners. Abbott would strike out Jahmai Jones to record the second out. The lefty then attempted a pick off at first and saw Caratini just sprint to second. When the throw then went to second base, Wiemer took off of the plate and both runners were ruled safe. Cincinnati challenged the call at second base and it was overturned, ending the inning without the Brewers scoring a run.
The Reds offense got to work in the top of the 4th inning with some help from Corbin Burnes. He hit TJ Friedl to start the inning and then Matt McLain walked to put two men on with no outs. Jonathan India then hit a grounder down the third base line that clanked off of the glove of Andruw Monasterio for an RBI single that made it 1-0. Joey Votto followed up with an RBI single of his own to extend the lead to 2-0.
In the bottom of the inning it was Monasterio leading off with a single. With two outs he was still standing over at first, but Victor Caratini doubled over Will Benson’s head in right field and he was sent to the plate, but Benson barehanded the ball off of the wall and turned and fired it towards the infield where Jonathan India cut it off and threw to Luke Maile at the plate who caught it and applied the tag in time to nail Monasterio and end the inning.
Andrew Abbott held onto a 2-0 lead entering the 6th, but he walked Willy Adames to start the inning. He would get back-to-back ground outs to Elly De La Cruz, with each one advancing Adames a base. With two outs, manager David Bell had the thought of going to the mound but the rookie lefty seemed to tell him he was staying in with a little nod towards the dugout and Bell remained at the railing. It took eight pitches, but Abbott would get his desired result as Owen Miller hit a chopper back to him and he took a few steps and then tossed the ball over to Joey Votto to end the inning.
The Reds tried to get a rally going in the top of the 7th when Will Benson and Luke Maile walked with two outs. Elly De La Cruz fouled off five pitched in the at-bat before a broken bat soft line drive was caught by Willy Adames at shortstop to end Cincinnati’s threat. Ian Gibaut had to work around a 1-out walk in the bottom of the inning but he did just that as the Reds held onto a 2-0 lead.
Cincinnati once again tried to get something going in the top of the 8th inning when Matt McLain and Jake Fraley put together back-to-back 1-out singles to put runners on the corners. Both runners would be stranded after two fly outs couldn’t get the job done. Lucas Sims took over for the Reds in the bottom of the inning and walked the leadoff batter, but got a fly out, a pop up, and a strikeout to end the inning and keep his team up by two runs.
The Reds offense would finally come through in their attempt to add to their lead in the 9th. Spencer Steer was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and Will Benson followed up with a 418-foot homer to the left of the batters eye, extending Cincinnati’s lead to 4-0.
Benson’s homer in the top of the 9th meant that Alexis Diaz sat back down in the bullpen and Daniel Duarte came out to try and seal the win. The rookie reliever got back-to-back pop ups on the infield from Owen Miller and Victor Caratini to start the inning. Duarte then walked Sal Frelick, who took second base on defensive indifference on the first pitch thrown to Blake Perkins. Perkins then hit a little nubber down the third base line for an infield single that didn’t make it to the dirt, placing runners on the corners with two outs. Christian Yelich then homered on the first pitch he saw to make it a 4-3 ballgame.
That was the final pitch that Duarte would throw as the Reds called on Alexis Diaz to try and get the final out of the game. Two pitches later William Contreras grounded out to Elly De La Cruz to end the game… until he didn’t. Milwaukee challenged the play and it was overturned as he beat out the throw on the play. The Brewers called on Tyrone Taylor to pinch run before Willy Adames came to the plate. On the 4th pitch of that at-bat, Taylor stole second base to put the tying run in scoring position. On the 9th pitch of the at-bat, Adames was hit by a pitch in the helmet, but he seemed to be ok and remained in the game after a short visit from the trainer. The game finally ended when Andruw Monasterio fly out to shallow center with Cincinnati pulling an escape act that would make Houdini jealous.
Key Moment of the Game
Alexis Diaz getting the final out of the game with the tying and winning runs on base in the bottom of the 9th inning.
Notes Worth Noting
Andrew Abbott lowered his ERA to 1.90 on the season. In his 10 starts he’s struck out 66 batters in 61.2 innings pitched.
Alexis Diaz struggled to get the final out of the game, but he did it. And it earned him his 30th save of the season.
Matt McLain was the only Red to have more than one hit. He went 2-3 with a walk and is now hitting .306/.375/.524 on the season through 61 games.
Tejay Antone threw a perfect inning with a strikeout tonight for the Arizona Complex League Reds.
— Doug Gray (@dougdirt24) July 26, 2023
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs Milwaukee Brewers
Wednesday July 26th, 2:10pm ET
Ben Lively (4-5, 3.88 ERA) vs Freddy Peralta (6-8, 4.72 ERA)