Hunter Greene returned to form and struck out six batters without allowing an earned run before the bullpen took over in the middle of the 6th inning. The offense did just enough before Christian Encarnacion-Strand’s 2-run homer in the 8th inning capped off the day for the Reds as Cincinnati avoided being swept with a 4-1 win over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday afternoon.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (69-66)
4 11 2
San Francisco Giants (69-64)
1 4 2
W: Greene (3-6) L: Webb (9-11) SV: Diaz (35)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

After both teams went down in order in the 1st inning, the Reds put some pressure on in the 2nd inning. Christian Encarnacion-Strand singled with one out, but he was swapped out on a force play that put Nick Senzel at first. He would take off for second on a pick off attempt, but LaMonte Wade Jr. threw the ball into the outfield trying to get Senzel at second, and he would pick up third base on the play. He would be stranded there after a strikeout ended the inning.

Hunter Greene was cruising through the Giants lineup until Casey Schmitt broke up his no-hitter with two outs in the 3rd inning with a double. Greene would strand him there with a strikeout for the third out.

Cincinnati would get back to applying pressure in the 4th after Nick Martini singled and Christian Encarnacion-Strand doubled with two outs to put two runners into scoring position. This time around it was a ground ball that ended the inning and stranded everyone.

Hunter Greene would walk the leadoff batter on a questionable ball four in the 5th inning, but one pitch later he got a ground ball that turned into a double play to make up for it. A strikeout would follow to end the inning.

The Reds got their leadoff hitter on to begin the 6th when Spencer Steer lined a single into right field. Elly De La Cruz then followed up with a single into right of his own, sending Steer to third in the process. With Christian Encarnacion-Strand at the plate, Elly De La Cruz stole second base, and when the throw went to second it led to Steer taking off for the plate and he slid in head first just around the tag on the relay throw to put Cincinnati up 1-0. Encarnacion-Strand would then line a single into left field to bring in De La Cruz and extend the lead to 2-0.

Casey Schmitt seemed to have Hunter Greene’s number on the day, leading off the bottom of the 6th with a double – giving him both hits that Greene allowed to that point. After a fly out, Thairo Estrada hit a little flare into center to put runners on the corners. That was the last batter that Greene would face as the Reds called on Ian Gibaut. Before he threw a pitch he tried to pick off Estrada at first base, but he threw the ball past everyone and both runners advanced and that made it a 2-1 ballgame. He’d get a pop out for the second out of the inning but would then fall behind Joc Pederson and wind up intentionally walking him. Patrick Bailey followed up with a hard grounder that seemed destined into right field, but Spencer Steer made a diving stop and came up with the throw to first to end the inning and strand both runners.

Fernando Cruz took over for Cincinnati in the 7th and walked the leadoff hitter. After a fly out he got a comebacker, but his throw to second base pulled Elly De La Cruz off of the bag and there were two runners on with just one out. Cruz locked in after that and got a strikeout and a fly out to end the inning and hold onto the Reds 2-1 lead.

In the top of the 8th inning Elly De La Cruz picked up a 1-out double. Later in the inning it was Christian Encarnacion-Strand picking up his 4th hit of the day, a wall scraper home run to dead center to make it a 4-1 lead for the Reds. Lucas Sims would work around a 1-out single in the bottom of the 8th to hold the 3-run lead.

Alexis Diaz entered the game for Cincinnati in the bottom of the 9th and he walked leadoff hitter Patrick Bailey on four pitches. He’d get a fly out from Mike Yastrzemski before getting a highlight reel play from Elly De La Cruz who ranged far to his right and into the outfield grass to make a play on a grounder and turn and fire to second to get a force out. Diaz then struck out Wade Meckler to seal the win and avoid the sweep.

Key Moment of the Game

Christian Encarnacion-Strand’s 2-run homer in the 8th inning that gave the club a little more breathing room by turning a 1-run game into a 3-run game.

Notes worth noting

With the win the team pulled to within a game of a playoff spot.

Christian Encarnacion-Strand had as many hits in the game as the Giants did as a team – four. Not only was today the first 4-hit day for the infielder, he had never had three hits in a game at the big league level before today (this was his 40th career game).

The Reds finished their west coast trip with a 5-5 record.

Cincinnati is off on Thursday. They’ll return to the field on Friday and play a doubleheader against the Cubs.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds

Friday September 1st, 1:10pm ET/6:40pm ET (doubleheader)

Graham Ashcraft (7-8, 4.73 ERA) & TBA vs TBA & TBA

84 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Will the Reds do something in the way of waiver claims? That is the question.

    • Mark Moore

      We’ll know in about 24 hours.

    • DaveCT

      Will any of these AL players*, including a Levi get, reach the Reds is part two of the question.

      *players worth claiming

      • Melvin

        There is no National League/America League thing anymore from what I understand. It’s the full Major Leagues all in one as far as the waiver wire.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      I hope they’ll, as things stand now the starting rotation is a three-man staff (Greene, Ashcraft and Williamson), with Abbott running on fumes and Lively as the last resort.

      • DaveCT

        Ramping up Lyon Richardson may be in the cards as well.

        I fear Lively was damaged in that bludgeoning he took for the team.

        I really hope not. He’s a guy who could easily figure in th plans for the back end of the rotation and/or bullpen in 24, or as AAA depth. He’s earned a shot.

  2. RedlegScott

    Glad to see Greene reclaim some honor. Pen very good (minus the lead-off walk in the 9th). CES with a hitting clinic. Gotta sweep the Cubbies at home.

  3. LT

    Heading to Sept and we’re 1 game out of playoff, that’s not a bad position to be in. Unexpected performance from CES and somewhat from Greene today. We need for players to take turn stepping up. Frield and Steer have been performing all year but can they give more?

    • David

      CES has ALWAYS hit at every level. Maybe today is the first day in many where he has big offensive performances.
      Give the young man credit for staying in there and hitting, after some bad days on this road trip.
      And Hunter Greene looked like the pitcher we all hoped he would be today.

      Give Hunter some major props.

      • Daytonnati

        Don’t worry, he’s goes 0-8 and the mob starts calling for his head again.

  4. Mark Moore

    Good win. Glad it was an afternoon affair and I got to watch the whole thing. Very happy the WC Swing is done for the season.

    • LT

      Amen. WC trips tripped up many seasons in the past.

  5. J

    To the extent that “momentum” actually matters, this feels like a huge win.

  6. Indy Red Man

    Big day for CES and HG. They both needed it badly. These guys have to get better moving forward and get used to the grind.
    Benson has cooled off. I hoped they’d get their 2nd wind, but that’s not the case.
    They really need a vet leader like Rolen was. Votto isn’t that guy and don’t want him back

  7. Rick

    It sounds like the double steal wasn’t called from the bench, spontaneous by Steer. Unless, Bell didn’t want to take credit for it post game.

    Rest up & whip the Cubs Friday.

    • Mark Moore

      Watching the replay, it was even more amazing that it worked. Their player fielded it a few feet in front of second and was already moving toward home plate. Gutsy move no matter who initiated it. Needed an absolutely perfect throw to nail him or nearly perfect timing and an avoidance slide from Steer.

      • Rick

        I thought he would nail Steer when he caught that throw in front of 2nd, but Steer also had a good secondary lead too.
        Yes, a good play regardless of who initiated it.

  8. LT

    I watched highlights of the game and felt like HG was somewhat lucky today that the Giants just missed some of his pitches. His fastball is still as straight as an arrow. Anyone saw the same?

    • Mark Moore

      I saw him being far more pitch efficient and using his secondary pitches more than in the last outing.

      • LT

        That might explain why Giants missed his fastball if they didn’t expect it and had to worry about the secondary pitches.

      • Harry Stoner

        He was getting far more 1st pitch strikes and seemed to be more on top of a pitch strategy for each hitter than in the previous two starts.

        Apparently, good coordination with Maile.

        I know Casali is suposed to be HG’s catcher, but this pairing worked well today.

      • Rick

        That made a big difference this outting.

    • DaveCT

      Hunter was actually locating his fastball much, much better.

      • Rick

        Yes he was & that slider was effective. Mixed in a few changeups too.

    • AMDG

      If an opponent is consistently missing your fastball, that’s not just dismissible as “luck”. It means you are doing something right.

      He was locating it well, and getting the secondary pitches for strikes.

  9. Eddiek957

    5-5 west coast road trip whe I the last twenty years or so wouldn’t be pleased. Thinking more than one of our players have hit the wall. Love to see Matt Moore in the pen. Krall said the Reds would spend. Two starters out there be nice to nail one. The FO showing some faith in these guys cannot be bad

  10. doofus

    The Reds win and I have not read one “Let’s lynch David Bell” comment.

    • doofus

      Come on guys. Are you out of tar and feathers?

    • LT

      Did you expect to see one? Then that’s on you.

    • J

      But Doofus ya know they jumped the gun extending Bell for 3 more years because of 2 good months , right ??

      • citizen54

        Funny thing is that fans of every team think that the manager is the one thing holding the team back. It’s never the lack of talent on the roster. Bell has done a great job squeezing wins out of this roster yet most people here still want him gone. Truly puzzling.

      • Harry Stoner

        In the case of the Reds, this fan thinks there’s more than one thing holding back the team.

        1. Ownership 2. Bell 3. Ownership + Bell

    • TR

      Don’t worry, the Cubs and their fans are in town for the big weekend. The Bell comments will be coming.

  11. J

    Mark Moore right !! If he gets that secondary stuff to 3/4ths as good as his heat he will be hard to hit !!

    • Eddiek957

      He has been great since moving to the pen

  12. CI3J

    I didn’t watch the game, but nice to see someone besides Benson being the offensive hero.

    I was surprised to see that Benson has actually been in a pretty big slump for the past month. In the past 30 days, he only has 10 walks to go with 40(!) strikeouts. That’s a pretty big reversal from when we was walking and striking out at about equal rates. Also only hitting .224/.305/.388 in the past 30 games.

    I find it surprising because it seems like he’s been the offensive hero in quite a few games over the last few weeks, but stats don’t lie. Looks like he could use a few days off.

    Then again, the whole offense has been slumping pretty horribly over the last 30 games. As bad as Benson’s stats are, nearly everyone else is worse.

    • DW

      Yeah, and amidst his slump he finally gets moved up in the batting order.

  13. J

    There is an imposter posting as “J.” This must be stopped.

  14. Indy Red Man

    Are they really going to keep going with Abbott? Seems like a risky situation for nothing? I’d go back to Richardson. He’s got a chance to be really good imo although it might be as a reliever. They could also use a reliever and work Antone into their spot

    • Harry Stoner

      I think we’re all VERY interested in seeing the return of Antone.

      Keeping expectations in check 😉

      Take as much time as needed to come back strong.

      The Lodolo relapse was bad enough, then the Santillan melt-down.

      • DaveCT

        I am expecting much less of Antone for a couple of reasons, and I’m reluctant to say one. But here it goes.

        First, the obvious, the second TJ.

        Second, his success was highly dependent on very, very high spin rates. His velocity spiked as well, but we know how that goes. ML hitters can hit velocity.

        So, the elephant in the room was that his spin rates and velocity spike came in the day of the sticky stuff. His second injury occurred right after the sticky stuff was cracked down upon.

        This is why I expect we’ll probably see a much lesser TJ Antone than we have in the past. Still, a fresh arm cannot hurt. But the days of high, high velocity and ungodly spin rates are likely vamoose.

        Ok, let me have it …

  15. RedsGettingBetter

    Well, this season has been so good and over expectations that we feel some frustrated standing at 1 game from the last wild card spot on August 31st owning a record of 69-66 despite the injuries have plagued the team as well as not receiving needed additions at the trade deadline. IdK if Fraley will be back for the next series but if so it would be huge…
    I think Lively is gonna start the game 2 on Friday. Reds should go for win 3 of 4 at least, of course the main target is to sweep, it is needed..

    • Doc

      The Reds need to focus on the first game of the series. Worry about the subsequent games as they come up.

      • Jim Walker

        This is the approach they need to have to every game and every series the rest of the way, starting with David Bell.

    • Rob

      Maybe. It could be one of the waiver wire guys too.

  16. Doc

    Two throwing errors by pitchers in this game and memory seems to recall that these are not the first two this season. Maybe it helps explain all the walks if they can’t even throw a strike to a base with hitter standing there waiting!

    • SteveAReno

      Coaches take note! More practice needed for the pitchers simulating throwing the ball to cover a base!

  17. Mark A Verticchio

    The player I would like to see the Reds pick up is Harrison Bader, decent right handed hitting outfielder. However I have know idea what his contract is.

    • Rob

      Me too. I think he bring more bat, speed, and defense than Friedl or Senzel.

      • JC

        I would rather see anyone but Hopkins. Renfroe or Bader. I also want to see some pitching claims.

    • Tom Diesman

      Bader hasn’t hit since 2021. Hard pass on him for me.

      • redfanorbust

        Agreed, hard pass, especially since our overwhelming need is pitching.

  18. Redsvol

    The universe is back in alignment.

  19. jmb

    Solid win. Reds played their game. They looked lost and tired in the 5 losses to Arizona and SF.

    • David

      I think, to your point, when the pitching is erratic and gives up a lot of runs in a game, it really demoralizes the players….more than they would admit to a beat writer. If it happens once in a while, you get over it. It has happened a lot this year (but not nearly as much as last year!!!), and the young guys get a little down about it, I would think.
      You hustle and play hard and get a few runs, and then the pitching just blows up and you’re six runs behind (like Friday night last), or you struggle to get a lead, and the bullpen blows it (like last Thursday night). They seemed to almost choke up the game on Saturday (Diaz gives up three runs in the ninth to let Arizona tie), but by hook or crook, they did win Saturday night.
      This was a big win today, for the record and morale, after almost getting no-hit last night. CES had a great day, and maybe this gets him started.

      The odds are long, but they are still in the hunt for a wild card spot in the playoffs.

      • AC

        You always look lifeless and listless when you aren’t hitting. Earlier in the year when they were “The Comeback Reds” a pitcher giving up a few runs didn’t bring them down. What seems down now is that half the team is in a protracted slump.

  20. Protime

    Just think if Krall would have been more proactive at the pre and trade deadline besides S. Moll, and if we had a competent manager other than Bell, who has cost us numerous games this year. Will see what happens in 24 hours. The problem now is that all the teams will be competing in the waiver wire to improve and tweak their chances for the pennant chase.

    • Rob

      But we should have first dibs on all these guys. We have the worst record of all the contending wildcard teams. We should find out who the Reds wanted and who they passed on. The ultimate GM competency test.

      • Melvin

        I think the rules are if we’re up we get to choose one and then we go to the end of the line. Not sure. Hope I’m wrong.

      • Votto4life

        if the Reds don’t claim anyone, It will be fun listening to Krall trying to explain it away.

      • Votto4life

        Wouldn’t the Marlins get first refusal?

      • Melvin

        “if the Reds don’t claim anyone, It will be fun listening to Krall trying to explain it away.”

        It will tell the true story as to whether he really didn’t want to trade prospects or Big Bob wouldn’t let him spend money. Krall’s integrity is on the line a lot with Big Bob. I think I’d find another job if I was him just for my reputation alone.

      • Melvin

        I don’t think teams can claim more than one at a time. Either way there should be some left to help us. Correction. If Google is correct this is what is has to say.

        “Could one team claim every player? Yes. Making a successful waiver claim doesn’t impact a club’s claiming priority, so one club could theoretically claim every available player, though it would need to clear 40-man roster spots for all of them and take on the remaining money owed to each player.”

      • Votto4life

        Thanks Melvin. Should be an interesting 24 hours. My guess is the Reds won’t claim anyone, but I do hope I am wrong.

      • Melvin

        Theoretically only the Marlins might claim players ahead of us. San Diego, I believe, is 10 games back of the playoffs. If this is truly the case there should be several players that could help us. We’ll see what Big Bob allows Krall to do. Time to put up or shut up. They can’t get out of this one. Ironically tanking the way we have lately might help us gain talent without giving away players except roster spots. It would mostly cost money. Big Bob is GROANING right now. He didn’t expect for this to happen I’m sure. hahaha 🙂

  21. Soto

    Good win for the Redlegs. Nice to see Hunter pitch well and CES break out. The dude can hit. It’s only a matter of time before he starts to get more consistent and develop better pitch recognition. I have no worries about CES.
    Unfortunately, I still have concerns about Greene. Even though he strikes out a lot of batters, lots of guys seem to see the ball well out of his hand. The Giants had many long at bats and hard hit foul balls. When he is spotting his fastball and his slider is dominant, he does well, but if either is off, he tends to get rocked. I really hope this offseason he finally gains confidence in his changeup or, even better, develops that splitter into a nasty weapon.

  22. Rick

    Melvin, I think Bob is rolling up coins from his cookie jar to hand over to Krall to spend on waiver claims. I hope that his jar is a really big one with lots of quarters!

  23. Votto4life

    I hope the Reds put in a claim or two tomorrow. I mean they are only a game outside a WC spot.

    I would be surprised if the Reds put in a claim, Hopefully I am wrong. I just don’t see Bob being willing to part with his money. Again, I hope I am

    The Castellini apologists on this page need to get plenty of rest tonight. The may have a very long day tomorrow.

    • Jim Walker

      I am waiting to hear how making a waiver claim would have damaged the Reds all encompassing master plan in 2024 and beyond. 😉

  24. rednat

    boy what a difference 24 hours make . last night rln was in a deep state of depression. tonight we are talking playoffs again. Such is the roller coaster of a reds baseball season.

    I guess I would be more excited about a 5-5 west coast road trip if we were not such a bad home team. We just have trouble scoring runs at home (and this needs to be addressed during the off season. Bigger dimension please). I was actually thinking we could have gone at least 7-3 after the angels sweep.

    Now it is a numbers game. We have 27 games left. If we go 13-14the rest of the way we finish above .500 for the second time in 3 years. I guess that in itself would be an accomplishment. But obviously we want more. I think we have to go 17-10 the rest of the way to sneak in to the playoffs. Can this team grind out 17 more 4-1, 1-0, 2-1 type wins the rest of the way? I know the pitchers are “gassed”, but i am more concerned about our offense at this pont.

    • Doug Gray

      I guess you missed the 6 comments from the same person talking about David Bell is the worst manager that ever lived, huh?

    • Melvin

      hahaha I wouldn’t be surprised. 😀

    • Old Big Ed

      Clevinger’s contract includes a $4 million mutual option for next year that Clevinger gets paid, even if the team declines the option. So, it would cost a team about $5 million for one month of Clevinger, whose K-rate and BB-rate are below average this year. I predict that nobody takes him.

      It is still possible that the Padres or Guardians would take one of the waiver-players, but the Guardians are 5 games behind the Twins, and would be huge long shots to go far in the playoffs. Plus, they are making Clevinger available, which is likely a tell that they aren’t buying. The Padres (now 7.5 games out of the WC) would be assessed something like a 75% luxury tax on top of any salary that they take on. I think that they will pass. They have little chance to make the playoffs, and to make the World Series, they would have to beat Milwaukee’s pitching 2 of 3 in Milwaukee, plus beat the Dodgers and Braves.

      The Marlins have first dibs, and the Reds can have whoever the Marlins don’t take.

      If Giolito is available, then the Reds will almost certainly take him. I would not be surprised if they don’t take either Grichuk or Bader, too, and maybe even a reliever, especially Matt Moore, whom the Marlins may take.

      I know that Bader’s offense has been maligned, but he has a career .923 OPS in 78 ABs at GABP. Interestingly, Bader has been bad at Busch Stadium, with a slash of .208/.292/.336.

  25. Jim Walker

    Important to note this clarification from the MLBTR rules explanation:

    (A team moves to the back of the line if they’re attempting to claim a player for the second time in a given season, though that won’t be a factor for any of the players known to be on waivers at the moment.)

    IOW, nobody is going to be sent to the bottom of the claim list for previous claims or claims pending resolution on Thursday because that rule only applies specifically to players who had been previously waived this year and is not a blanket rule for any and all previous claims in a season.

  26. BuzzKutter

    Well today is the day the front office gets to reward us fans for the support and money we throw their way. Will they throw some back or keep it?

    Giolito should definitely be claimed if he gets past the other teams. A reliever as well and maybe even a bat.

    Clevenger I can see a pass on as his contract is structured kinda bad. It would be like paying over 10$ for a beer at the park. 🙂

  27. AllTheHype

    Reds ownership will get exposed tomorrow, either way. Either they are trying to win (and spend some money making a claim or two), or they are not trying to win. Only being a game out of the wildcard, the latter will look very bad on them.

    Should be an easy choice. I could understand them maybe passing on Clevinger and the $5.3M or so he is owed, but not passing on some of the other pitchers that could help the team.

    • Jim Walker

      Unless players are awarded to teams after the Reds in the priority list, we will never know for sure who might have been available to the Reds if players clearing waivers are not subsequently released. That may be just enough wiggle room for the FO to get off the hook of accountability.

  28. LDS

    There are a number of interesting pitching candidates available on the waiver wire. The Reds should go for at least a couple of them. After all, the Reds have the pitcher whisperer. He can turn them around in no time. And if they can snag Giolito, why wouldn’t they? He’s was deemed too expensive at deadline. Now he’s cheap and probably affordable to sign for next season. I don’t see much downside. The other thing I’m looking to see is the call up tomorrow. Hopefully, there’s a lot of action. For example, send Hopkins down, find where Lopez is hiding, etc. They need to be aggressive. The Cubs can put the final nail in the Reds’ playoff coffin this weekend. And quite likely will.

  29. Soto

    Nice to CES have a break-out game. If he gets hot down the stretch it might go a long way toward this team making the playoffs. I really hope Krall can convince the Castellini’s to fork it over for Giolito. I think a run with the Reds might be just what he needs to get back on track. It’s not my money, so I definitely think it’s worth a shot. I don’t hear any fat ladies singing yet.

  30. redfanorbust

    Just to give my 2 cents worth…”IF” available I would, as a Reds GM select Moore #1, Clevenger #2 (if we get him for next year as well) then Giolito #3. I am not interested in any hitters that might be available.