Joey Votto homered, doubled, and drove in three runs to help lead the Reds offense. Graham Ashcraft kept his strong stretch of pitching going with six shutout innings. Combine the two things and you got a Cincinnati Reds 9-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday evening that gave the Reds the series win and put them back in 1st place in the National League Central.
|Cincinnati Reds (58-49)||9||14||0|
|Los Angeles Dodgers (59-45)
|W: Ashcraft (6-7) L: Grove (2-3)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
The Cincinnati Reds wasted little time on Sunday afternoon getting on the board. Elly De La Cruz led off the game with a single and he scored when TJ Friedl doubled to the wall in center. Matt McLain was then hit by a pitch. Jake Fraley followed up with an RBI single that made it 2-0. Spencer Steer grounded out to third, but it brought in another run that made it 3-0.
In the bottom of the inning Graham Ashcraft ran into some trouble when Freddie Freeman had a 1-out single and then he hit Will Smith to put two runners on. Ashcraft got what he needed, though, getting a grounder from Max Muncy that turned into a double play to end the inning.
Elly De La Cruz added to the Reds lead in the 2nd inning when he hit his 7th homer of the season – a solo blast to right field. In the 3rd inning they’d add on again. Matt McLain led off with his 11th homer of the season to make it 5-0. Jake Fraley picked up his second single of the day and then he’d score when Joey Votto took a cutter in the middle of the plate and hit it 418 feet into the Reds bullpen down the right field line to make it 7-0.
The Dodgers put pressure on Ashcraft again in the bottom of the 4th. Austin Barnes singled to lead off the inning. Chris Taylor would pick up a 1-out single to put two men on, but the Reds righty got back-to-back fly outs to end the inning and keep Los Angeles scoreless.
Two innings later the Reds played add on once again. Will Benson doubled and then came around to score on a 2-out single from TJ Friedl that made it 8-0 as the Dodgers just let Michael Grove take a day for the bullpen to get some additional rest.
Graham Ashcraft returned to the mound for the bottom of the 6th inning and gave up a leadoff single to Freddie Freeman. He worked around that by getting Austin Barnes to follow up with a ground ball double play three pitches later. Max Muncy flew out to end the inning and wrap up the day for the Reds starter.
Derek Law took over for Cincinnati in the bottom of the 7th inning. He made quick work of the frame, striking out two batters and needing just 12 pitches to keep the score 8-0 and send the game into the 8th inning.
The Reds offense would tack on another run in the top of the 9th when Kevin Newman, who led off the inning with a double, scored when Joey Votto doubled into left-center to make it 9-0. Daniel Duarte took over in the bottom of the 9th for Cincinnati and got the job done to seal the shutout, seal the win, and seal the series victory. The win puts the Reds back in 1st place.
Key Moment of the Game
The first inning of the game set the tone. The Reds offense jumped out to a 3-0 lead and then Graham Ashcraft shut them down in the bottom half and Cincinnati never looked back.
Notes Worth Noting
Graham Ashcraft has an ERA of 1.75 over his last six starts. He’s thrown 36.0 innings in that time frame.
Joey Votto’s home run gives him 351 for his career. That ties him with Dick Allen for 97th most in MLB history.
Elly De La Cruz picked up four hits on the day.
Matt McLain hit his 11th homer of the year and is now hitting .305/.375/.530 on the season in his 65 games since being called up.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs Chicago Cubs
Monday July 31st, 8:05pm ET
Andrew Abbott (6-2, 1.90 ERA) vs Marcus Stroman (10-7, 3.51 ERA)