The Cincinnati Reds welcomed the 1st place Mariners to Great American Ball Park on Monday afternoon and jumped out to a 5-0 lead after two innings. On a day that saw Cincinnati use seven pitchers to get through nine innings, they did their part as they held onto that early lead and picked up a 6-3 win to open the series.
|Seattle Mariners (77-60)
|Cincinnati Reds (72-68)
|W: Sims (5-3) L: Woo (2-4) SV: Farmer (2)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Tejay Antone got the first start in nearly three years, with his last start coming on September 12th of 2020. This start wasn’t like that one, though, as he was simply being used as an opener in a bullpen day. He looked real good in the 1st inning, picking up two strikeouts in a perfect frame while throwing just 12 pitches.
In the bottom of the 1st inning the Reds got to work with a little bit of help from pitcher Bryan Woo. TJ Friedl was hit by a pitch with one out, and he moved up to second base on a ground out. After Elly De La Cruz fell behind 0-2, Woo threw a cutter below the zone, but De La Cruz went down and got it and lined a single into right field to bring Friedl around to score and give Cincinnati a 1-0 lead. Woo continued to struggle with control and hit Nick Martini to put two men on. Hunter Renfroe then lined the next pitch into left field and De La Cruz easily scored to make it 2-0.
Given a lead and with the help of a quick and easy 1st inning, Tejay Antone returned for the 2nd inning. He started the inning with a strikeout before getting Eugenio Suarez to ground out to shortstop in his return to Cincinnati. Antone finished the inning by inducing a grounder to Noelvi Marte who took care of the rest.
Bryan Woo’s control was still an issue in the bottom of the 2nd inning. He hit Noelvi Marte with a pitch and then walked Jake Fraley with one out. After TJ Friedl grounded into a force out, Spencer Steer crushed a 3-run homer just over the glove of a leaping Julio Rodriguez in center to make it 5-0.
Sam Moll pitched around an infield hit in the 3rd to keep the Reds up by five runs. Daniel Duarte couldn’t keep the shutout alive in the 4th, giving up a leadoff homer to Julio Rodriguez as the Mariners got on the board. Duarte would retire Seattle in order after that to send the game to the bottom of the 4th.
Michael Mariot took over for Cincinnati in the 5th. It was not the first time he’s been in the big leagues this year, but he was only up for a day back in July before he was designated for assignment without pitching in the game. The last time he pitched in a big league game was in October of 2016…. until Monday afternoon. Mariot got a fly out to start his outing, but he then surrendered a solo homer to Mike Ford as the Mariners cut into the Reds lead. That would be the only hit he’d allow in the inning.
Mariot would return for the top of the 6th inning and he’d record the first two outs of the inning without issue, but then he gave up a single and a double to put two men in scoring position and bring Eugenio Suarez to the plate. The former Red would see five pitches, not swing at any of them, and take a called third strike to end the inning.
Looking to get as much from Mariot as they could, the Reds stuck with Mariot to begin the 7th inning and it began with one of the stranger plays you’ll see as Ty France hit a ball up the middle that went off of Mariot’s foot, then off of Spencer Steer’s glove before Elly De La Cruz picked it up behind second base and fired to first to record the out.
Oh you know, just your everyday 1-4-6-3 putout. pic.twitter.com/WIpAs6WtdQ
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) September 4, 2023
Mike Ford would follow up with a fly out, but then Mariot walked Josh Rojas and gave up a single to pinch hitter Cal Raleigh. That was the end of his day as Lucas Sims entered the game from the bullpen. He would hit J.P. Crawford to load the bases and bring up Julio Rodriguez, who is hitting eleventy-hundred over the last month (don’t fact check this) with the bases juiced. Sims and Rodriguez would battle, with Rodriguez fouling off three straight pitches with two strikes because swinging through the 7th pitch of the at-bat to end the inning and strand three runners.
Luke Weaver returned to Cincinnati as a Seattle Mariner and they called on him to pitch in the bottom of the 7th inning and it was like he never left as he gave up a single to lead off the inning and then an RBI double to Tyler Stephenson as the Reds padded their lead to 6-2.
Buck Farmer came into the game for Cincinnati to pitch the 8th inning and pitched a 1-2-3 frame. The Reds offense tried to get something going again against Weaver in the bottom of the inning with a leadoff single from TJ Friedl and a 1-out walk from Elly De La Cruz. They couldn’t cash in, though despite the best efforts from Hunter Renfroe who hit a screamer but it was right at Eugenio Suarez at third who caught it on a line to end the inning.
Farmer returned for the top of the 9th looking to seal a win to open the series. He’d have to work for it because Ty France would lead off the inning with a single. Farmer got a shallow fly out before striking out Josh Rojas, but Cal Raleigh kept the game alive with a single up the middle to put two men on with two outs. That was it for Farmer as the Mariners turned the lineup over and the Reds called on Ian Gibaut to try and record the final out. That out wasn’t going to come at the expense of J.P. Crawford who singled in a run to make it 6-3 and bring Julio Rodriguez to the plate as the tying run. Gibaut would get the job done, striking out Rodriguez to end the game.
Key Moment of the Game
Spencer Steer’s 3-run home run in the 2nd inning that put Cincinnati up 5-0.
Notes worth noting
The Cincinnati Reds offense struck out just one time in the game. Likewise, the Reds pitching staff walked just one batter in the game.
Spencer Steer became the 7th Reds rookie to hit 20 home runs in a season.
Elly De La Cruz went 1-2 with two walks and he was hit by a pitch. It was the first time he’s been on base four times in the same game since July 30th.
There were 2528 days between big league outings for Michael Mariot.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Seattle Mariners vs Cincinnati Reds
Tuesday September 5th, 6:40pm ET
Bryce Miller (8-4, 3.93 ERA) vs Connor Phillips (MLB Debut)