The Cincinnati Reds offense got rolling early, taking a 3-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning. They added three more runs in the 4th on Luke Maile’s 3-run homer and never looked back as Andrew Abbott racked up nine strikeouts in a return to form as he and bullpen held the Pirates to two runs in Cincinnati’s 9-2 victory on Friday night.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (61-57)
9 11 0
Pittsburgh Pirates (52-64)
2 6 0
W: Abbott (7-3) L: Oviedo (6-12)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Reds did not waste any time on Friday night in Pittsburgh. TJ Friedl walked and Matt McLain singled to start the game. Both scored on a triple from Elly De La Cruz, who then scored when Spencer Steer doubled and gave Cincinnati a 3-0 lead.

In the top of the 4th inning the Reds offense went back to work. Stuart Fairchild was hit by a pitch and Will Benson followed up with a single. That put two men on for Luke Maile and he crushed a 410-foot 3-run homer that put Cincinnati on top 6-0.

Bryan Reynolds picked up a 1-out single in the bottom of the 4th inning for Pittsburgh, giving the Pirates their first hit of the day against Andrew Abbott. He would get out of the inning with that being the lone baserunner. The lefty would get the Pirates in order in the bottom of the 5th, but things didn’t go as smooth in the 6th inning. With two out Ke’Bryan Hayes homered to make it 6-1. Bryan Reynolds followed with a double and then scored when Andrew McCutchen singled and cut the Reds lead to four runs.

At that point Derek Law was called on to enter the game and he gave up a single to the first batter he faced, but got out of the jam when Henry Davis grounded out. Law would return for the bottom of the 7th inning and had a 1-2-3 inning.

Cincinnati padded their lead in the 8th inning. Stuart Fairchild and Will Benson both singled before moving up a base on Luke Maile’s sacrifice bunt. TJ Friedl, Elly De La Cruz, and Spencer Steer all followed with RBI singles to make it 9-2. That led to the Pirates making a pitching change with Angel Perdomo coming into the game to face pinch hitter Kevin Newman, who struck out to end the inning.

Brett Kennedy took over for the Reds in the bottom of the 8th inning and put together a 1-2-3 frame on just 15 pitches. He would return for the 9th, holding onto a 9-2 lead. After getting two ground outs to Elly De La Cruz to begin the inning, Kennedy gave up a 2-out single to Henry Davis. That was all Pittsburgh would get as Endy Rodriguez grounded out to end the game.

Key Moment of the Game

Luke Maile’s 3-run homer that made it 6-0 and put the game out of reach.

Notes Worth Noting

Christian Encarnacion-Strand was hit by a pitch in the hand. When his turn in the order came back up he did not go to the plate and was instead pinch hit for. Later in the game he was back in the dugout and shown squeezing a stress ball, which is hopefully a good sign.

The Reds win was the first in Pittsburgh in their last seven games at PNC Park.

Nick Lodolo allowed one hit in 2.0 innings and he struck out four batters on his rehab start out in Arizona on Friday night.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Pittsburgh Pirates

Saturday August 12th, 7:05pm ET

Brandon Williamson (4-2, 4.54 ERA) vs TBA

53 Responses

  1. Ted Alfred

    When I think of how valuable a longer guy in the bullpen would have been over the last few months…just seeing Kennedy in there throwing the last two innings and hoping that they’re going to leave him up here to maybe, finally be a longer guy.
    I don’t understand why this wasn’t done two or three months ago. Having a guy in there to chew up innings versus frying your Bullpen with so many appearances, when a consistent guy with decent stuff who throws strikes and is available to pitch two or three, maybe occasionally four innings every few days, to me that value is so underestimated when it comes to keeping the rest of your bullpen fresh, especially as you get into the last 2 months of a pennant chase. I hope this is the way it’s going to be going forward, just leave Kennedy or someone else in this role up here. After his start in Washington I said on this blog that I hoped they would keep him up here to be the longer guy in the bullpen cuz he seemed to be the right kind of pitcher for that role. I guess we’ll see what happens

    • Optimist

      They Robert Stephenson or Jeff Hoffman role.

    • Melvin

      “When I think of how valuable a longer guy in the bullpen would have been over the last few months…”

      Probably would have been less stress on the pen for sure.

    • Redsgettingbetter

      Yes, Kennedy could stay in this role of long reliever until Vlad Gutierrez return, even Lively could considered for the job..

    • TR

      Nice work by Brett Kennedy the last two innings to wrap it up. Physically he looks like a relief pitcher, and could be the long reliever the Reds need.

    • bug

      >>>I don’t understand why this wasn’t done two or three months ago.

      That’s easy. It’s par for the course. The Reds management team and decision makers are always the last to know what should be done,..what fans figured out long before. They (Bell, Krall, the Castellinis, etc.) are the last to learn anything, and they always cost us a multitude of wins before they finally figure it out. Examples? Waiting too long to bring up the youth (directly responsible for us starting the season at 7 and 15),…leaving Elly in the lead off position too long,…continuing to play Myers when he was crowned the Strike Out King,…continuing to start Weaver with a 7 ERA (when Kennedy had pitched well the one time he started),..and on and on. It’s who they are. Reds would be way out in front in first place in the Central had they made the obvious moves that fans were calling for much sooner. It is what it is.

    • jon

      It will be Weaver when everyone else is ready to pitch.

  2. RedlegScott

    Everything is back to normal – at least for one game.

  3. Jeff Morris

    Great Win for the Reds. Does anybody know…how long Nick Senzel is signed for the Reds?

    • Scott

      Pretty sure he is a FA after this season. Signed for around $2M for this season if I remember correctly.

      • Doc

        Thought he had one more arb year, but could be wrong

      • Jeff K

        I think he has one more year of arbitration.

      • Jim Walker

        Senzel was a super2 which means he got 4 years of arbitration and thus has 2 years remaining. But the likelihood is that he will be non tendered this off season and have to sign as a free agent.

        Assuming Senzel sticks with an MLB team through 2024 he will be arbitration eligible at the end of 2024; and, his new team will have the choice to offer ring him arbitration or non tendering him. If they offer him arb, he is bound to them.

  4. GreatRedLegsFan

    Well, the Pirates are not the Cubs, or the Brewers for that matter.

    • Doc

      A win against the Pirates counts as much as a win against every other team. It’s one more in the win column no matter whom you play.

    • TR

      And the Reds recently got swept at home by the Nationals. Teams, other than the leaders can surprise you.

  5. DaveCT

    The series of hits after Fairchild got on adding runs was picturesque.

    Benson, line drive up the middle, Maile sacrifice, then Friedl punching one through the opposite way. A McLain K, then Elly lashing one through the 2B side, and Steer’s opposite way hit.

    Just terrific execution. It’s said that these are the games we have to win. This is a very good example of some professional hitters getting it done.

    • VaRedsFan

      Without a doubt.
      Scored 9 runs with only 1 HR

  6. TR

    Two good moves by Manager Bell: Friedl leading off and Kennedy in relief for more than one inning.

    • Melvin

      Yeah. I would agree with that. Good moves are…well….good. 🙂

    • Ted Alfred

      Yep, I just don’t understand why it took either so long to happen.

  7. Soto

    With India out I would like to see this infield for an extended look.
    McClain SS
    EDLC 3b
    Steer 2b
    CES 1st
    Votto DH
    I have read that Steer thinks his natural and best position in 2b. I would like to see him get a shot there.

    • Ted Alfred

      I agree Elly is so much better defensively at 3rd than anyone else. I had no idea Steer thought that but that would solve a lot of problems going into next year if India gets traded. I think that would be a really excellent stsrting infield

    • MBS

      Steer’s MILB stats show him as a utility guy 2B, SS, and 3B starts mostly. I wonder if his best position is no position. Let Marte become the 2B in 24, and have Steer cover the infield as a utility. I’m still talking 145 games, not a bench guy.

  8. Soto

    In a limited sample size, I have not been impressed with Steer at 3b.

    • TR

      I’m more impressed with Steer at 1st. base. He’s shown some footwork that that position requires. CES and Steer sharing 1st. base and DH makes sense to me. Elly, with his rifle arm and less range needed than at shortstop, seems a natural at 3rd. base..

      • Soto

        I agree that Steer has been the Reds best defensive 1st baseman this year but I think the long term plan is for CES to play there. Elly just looks so much more comfortable at 3rd than SS. I’m not sure Steer is a 2nd baseman but I would like to see him get a shot. I would prefer that he has a steady position compared to being a super utility. I think he has shown this year that he is an above average everyday MLB player. McClain looks awesome at both SS and 2nd, even though his body type and arm strength lean more toward that of a traditional 2nd baseman.

      • Tar Heel Red

        I see Steer in LF in ’24. I do believe India will be traded in the off season, so the infield would be CES at 1B, McLain at 2B, EDLC at short and Noelvi Marte at 3B. Friedl stays in CF and Benson in RF.

        It would not surprise me if Fraley and India are both dealt, perhaps even in the same deal for an established starting pitcher, such as Shane Bieber or the like.

  9. MBS

    Big Ben with 3 hits! Maybe leaving well enough alone is the right call with his spot in the lineup, but I’d still like to see him move up a bit from time to time to see how he responds.

    I’m glad they didn’t move EDLC too far back in the lineup, the more AB’s he gets the happier I am. That being said a shake up was in order, and they’ve finally put McLain in the 2 hole. I also like that EDLC is surrounded by RHB’s in McLain, and Steer. That should lessen the amount of time he’s turned around.

  10. CI3J

    How about that?

    Move Elly out of leadoff, and suddenly the offense springs back to life.

    We’ve only been telling Bell to do this for a month.

    Better late than never, I guess.

  11. Melvin

    Lopez with a walk already tonight down on the farm. That extends his on base streak to FORTY-ONE games.

    • Tomn

      Wow. I would think he would be good trade fodder. Pkg him woth someone for more bp help?

      Congrats to Lopez. Seems like a good guy and a smart ballplayer

      • Rob

        He was put on waivers earlier in the year and 29 teams did not want him or take a chance on him…..for Free. Now all of a sudden he is trade bait. ?? He is what he is. A fine AAA player. Unfortunately he is in the wrong position to have a future on the Reds.

  12. Tim

    It’s only one game but this is the picture of what a true lead off guy can accomplish. On base three times and scored twice. Good to see Benson back. Nice work from the pitching staff. Thank you Bell for the lineup and thank you to whoever pulled the trigger on Senzel. Sad but needed to happen.

  13. rednat

    reds offense is more dynamic on the road. To me this is no surprise as I really hate the dimensions (and surface at GABP). I always chuckle when I hear people say GABP IS A “HITTERS BALLPARK”. Home run ballpark , yes. Hitters ballpark- no. there are no alleys, the grass is too thick so the ball has trouble finding gaps in the outfield. It is easy to hit a homerun but hard to get a double or triple at gabp and with our youth and speed we want the exact opposite.

    i know the bullpen has blown a couple of games but our biggest problem during this second half is not scoring enough runs at home.

    • Jim Walker

      Good point about GABP. In the homestand just completed Fairchild had 2 OF line drive outs with 100+ MPH and Statcast xBA of >.700, one caught moving into the gap, the other almost on the foul line. Friday night he had one flare fall for a hit and another caught on a sliding circus catch.

    • Roger Garrett

      Agree 100%.I have no stats to prove this but expect it to be true also that outfielders also play deeper.Balls hit over there head for the most part are gone anyway and deeper means the ability to cut balls off in the gap.Young Reds see pop ups going out and well they swing a little harder and are more pull happy I would think.They need a thumper in the middle of the lineup and maybe CES is that guy.Need another right handed bat in the outfield that has hit 20+ somewhere else like Old-school said about the Thomas kid in Washington.Your right about scoring runs which may turn out to be the achilles heel of the Reds.Just have to win at home and the Reds haven’t so far.

    • greenmtred

      That’s an interesting take, rednat. Makes sense, too.

    • Andy

      I get the comment on “no alleys” but am surprised about grass comment. I was just on field Tuesday taking a tour around periphery (Rosie Reds promotion) and I marveled at how short the grass was. It resembles the fairway on a golf course. I have not been on field at other MLB/MiLB parks though, my comparison point was all the fields my 13 year old plays on.

  14. VaRedsFan

    How about we let Maile get a 2nd consecutive start tonight.
    Ty can catch tomorrow, day game after night.

    • Jim Walker

      I’d be OK with that if Maile is able to go Saturday night. Later in the game Frioday, he had what looked to be a heavy wrap on the area of his left arm where he was hit by the pitch early on. It may be plenty sore Saturday and possibly swollen to the degree it impacts his elbow flexibility.

  15. Redsgettingbetter

    It’s so huge to win this series even better if they can sweep to go to face the not-easy Guardians looking to take the pair of games because starting august 18th thru the end of the month the schedule turns very tough… That stretch could decide whether the Reds enter september in a good spot in the playoffs race or we will wait for 2024 season definitely

  16. Jim Walker

    Here’s a takeaway about the Pirates. Clint Hurdle may be gone; but, his philosophy of trying to intimidate hitters with reckless abandon is alive and well in the Pirates pitching corps.

    • greenmtred

      It doesn’t surprise me at all that Hurdle’s toxic miasma still infects the Pirates. Perhaps an exorcism is in order?

  17. Roger Garrett

    Lots of comments about Steer and for me he is already an established middle of the order guy that goes about doing his job every day.Pretty much a rookie that doesn’t play like one or act like one.Wish we had several more just like him.He does a lot of things on the diamond very very well.Just a solid major league player that goes unnoticed.Most would say he plays the game the right way and along with CES Krall won that trade with the Twins.Hope Tyler Mahle comes back and it better then ever but even if he does no way I would trade these two guys back to retain Mahle.Just to finish my point Farmer and Solano at last I looked were getting a lot of playing time having signed as free agents I think.Krall and especially Bell take a lot of stuff from us but Mahle,Farmer and Solano in no way compare to Steer and CES.Great move by Krall.

    • Ted Alfred

      Yep, I think McClain and Steer are the only two position players I would like to see the Reds sign to long-term deals this off season. The other rookies still have a lot to learn/prove.

      • Andy

        Benson? Not sure what he could do better at this point.

  18. Mark Moore

    Encouraging win. Loved to see so many contribute and the strong start from Abbott. Would have liked to see him get a QS, but still did very well with no free passes issued.

    Back at it tonight. I know it’s the Pie-Rats, but keep winning and the rest takes care of itself. That was the key problem in 2021 if I recall. We just couldn’t string wins together.

  19. Mark A Verticchio

    Boy looking at the Cubs schedule, it is really easy, but who knows maybe they will pull a 2021 Reds and not take advantage of an easy schedule.