Graham Ashcraft gave up three solo home runs, but he also struck out a career high 10 batters. The offense did just enough, with a little help from the Angels defense, as the Cincinnati Reds defeated Los Angeles 4-3 on Tuesday night in the series opener.
|Cincinnati Reds (65-61)
|Los Angeles Angels (61-65)
|W: Ashcraft (7-8) L: Giolito (7-10) SV: Diaz (34)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Matt McLain didn’t waste much time giving the Reds a lead, socking a 413-foot solo home run in the top of the 1st inning. The Reds lead didn’t last all that long as former Reds Brandon Drury and Mike Moustakas went back-to-back off of Graham Ashcraft in the bottom of the 2nd inning to put the Angels up 2-1.
Two innings later it was Logan O’Hoppe with another solo home run off of Ashcraft that extended the Los Angeles lead to 3-1. Cincinnati got to work in the next inning, though. Will Benson walked to lead off the 5th and moved to third on a double by TJ Friedl. Elly De La Cruz then hit a chopper to first base and saw Nolan Schanuel have it bounce off of his glove and go towards second base and it allowed both runners to score and De La Cruz to reach first. Spencer Steer followed up with a double that brought in De La Cruz to cap off a 3-run inning and give the Reds a 4-3 lead.
Graham Ashcraft settled in from there and tossed three more innings of shutout baseball, setting a career high with 10 strikeouts in the process. Sam Moll took over for Cincinnati in the bottom of the 8th and he got to face pinch hitter Eduardo Escobar to lead off the inning. He would strike him out, but Mike Trout would pick up an infield single on a ball off of the glove of a diving Noelvi Marte at third base. That brought Shohei Ohtani to the plate for a lefty-lefty match up, and Moll would come out ahead in it as Ohtani flew out to left field. The Reds then called on Ian Gibaut to enter the game to face Brandon Drury with two outs and Gibaut got the job done by inducing a ground out to end the inning.
Alexis Diaz entered the game in the bottom of the 9th and he struck out former teammate Mike Moustakas to start the frame. After getting ahead of Logan O’Hoppe 0-2, Diaz hit him with a 97 MPH fastball to put the tying run on 1st. O’Hoppe was pinch run for by Mickey Moniak. The Angels tried to push their luck and steal second base and the call on the field was out, but Los Angeles challenged the play. The call stood and Moniak was out. Randal Grichuk followed up two pitches later with a ground out to end the game as Cincinnati held on for a 4-3 win.
Key Moment of the Game
Spencer Steer’s double in the 5th inning that scored Elly De La Cruz from first base that broke a 3-3 tie.
Notes Worth Noting
Elly De La Cruz stole his 20th base of the season. He reached 10 home runs and 20 steals quicker than any player in the history of Major League Baseball.
Elly De La Cruz has 10 homers and 20 steals through 64 games, the quickest ever to reach that mark! pic.twitter.com/ZbOtvdPRMK
— MLB (@MLB) August 23, 2023
Graham Ashcraft’s previous career high in strikeouts was eight. He had done that four times – three in 2022 and once earlier this season.
TJ Friedl was the only Red with multiple hits on the night. He went 2-5 with a double.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs Los Angeles Angels
Wednesday August 23rd, 4:07pm ET & 9:38pm ET
Andrew Abbott (8-3, 2.99 ERA) vs Shohei Ohtani (10-5, 3.17 ERA)
TBA vs Reid Detmers (3-9, 4.93 ERA)