Joey Votto and Jonathan India both returned from the injured list and homered. Hunter Greene returned from the injured list and allowed just one hit while striking out nine batters in six innings. That was more than enough for the Reds who picked up a 7-1 win as Cincinnati avoided being swept in the 3-game series by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Final R H E
St. Louis Cardinals (63-80)
1 1 1
Cincinnati Reds (74-71)
7 10 1
W: Greene (4-6) L: Mikolas (7-11)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Hunter Greene returned to the mound after missing a start while on the injured list. He worked around a walk in each of the first two three of the game. In the bottom of the 3rd his offense gave him a lead to work with. Jonathan India, fresh off of the injured list, led off with his 15th homer of the season. Will Benson would add a solo homer of his own – his 10th of the year – and Cincinnati grabbed a 2-0 lead.

The Cardinals would get one of those runs back in the top of the 4th. Nolan Arenado reached on an error by Spencer Steer at third base to begin the inning. Greene walked Tyler O’Neill to follow. After a strikeout and a pop up it was Andrew Knizner who came through with a 2-out RBI on a single into center. He would steal second base to move into scoring position, but Greene struck out Masyn Winn to end the inning and strand two runners and hold onto the lead.

Hunter Greene rebounded in the 5th with two strikeouts and a pop up. That left him with 98 pitches on the day. He returned for the 6th inning and needed just three pitches to get two outs. But he fell behind Luken Baker 3-0 before battling back and striking him out on the 8th pitch of the at-bat. It was Greene’s 9th strikeout of the day.

TJ Friedl lined a triple into the gap in right-center, but on the headfirst slide into third his arm got caught up in a funky way and he stayed down for a bit. The training staff headed out there and gave him a look over and spoke with him for a bit, but he remained in the game. Spencer Steer followed up with an RBI single to make it 3-1. Nick Martini then lined a triple off of the wall in right-center that hit the wall so hard it flew back into the field past the centerfielder and Cincinnati grabbed a 4-1 lead. That led to a pitching change, and the Reds also sent Harrison Bader in to pinch run for Martini. With a new pitcher on the mound, Joey Votto grounded out, but the ball easily scored Bader to make it 5-1.

Buck Farmer entered the game for the Reds to start the 7th inning with a 4-run lead. He made easy work of the Cardinals, throwing just eight pitches to retire them in order. In the bottom of the inning TJ Friedl added to the lead with a solo home run into the seats in right field.

Tejay Anton came out of the bullpen to pitch the 8th inning. He walked Lars Nootbaar to start the inning but got the Cardinals out in order from there. In the bottom of the inning Joey Votto led off with a 437-foot home run to make it 7-1.

Alexis Diaz entered the game in the 9th to try and shut things down. With a 6-run lead to work with, the All-Star closer had plenty of wiggle room – but he didn’t need it. Diaz threw nine pitches in recording three outs in what felt like a must-win game for the Reds.

Key Moment of the Game

The 6th inning, 3-run rally put together by the Reds that turned a 2-1 ballgame into a 5-1 contest and put things out of reach.

Notes worth noting

Andrew Knizner’s 4th inning single was the only hit of the day for the Cardinals.

TJ Friedl is the first player since Corey Patterson in 2006 with the Orioles to have 15 bunt hits and 13 or more home runs in the same season.

Will Benson picked up three hits as he remained hot in September. He’s now hitting .375/.464/.792 during the month. His big day has his slugging percentage back over .500 on the year (.502).

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Detroit Tigers

Tuesday September 12th, 6:40pm ET

TBA vs Joey Wentz (2-11, 6.65 ERA)

66 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    That’s some mighty fine company for 40th birthday HR’s.

    Win felt very good today and much needed. Salvaged a .500 homestand. Onward we go!

  2. Doc

    Seven home games left. Two million attendance is within reach.

  3. Indy Red Man

    Season saved for now. Zero chance surviving a sweep. HG can put a positive spin on a mostly lost season. Unfortunately Miami and Arizona both playing better then us, but you never know

  4. JB WV

    Maybe some positive energy from the old guy and on this team a grizzled veteran will get a streak going. Who knows, but they’re still in it

  5. Jim Walker

    Fish came back to beat the Phillies 5-4 with 2 in the 7th and 3 more in the 8th

    Cubbies finally beat the Snakes.

    Reds trail the Snakes by 2 games in the loss column and 1 game in the win column. Snakes have a game in hand which will be played Monday (vs Metz in NYC). Reds have the 2 team tiebreaker over the Snakes.

    Reds and Fish are even in wins but Reds trail Fish by 2 in the loss column. One of the two games the Fish have in hand will be played on Monday vs. Brewers (in Milwaukee). The final game the Fish have in had will be played on Sept 28 (vs Metz in NYC). The Fish appear to have the tiebreaker over the Reds (intradivisional records because they split the season series 3/3).

    Giants are just getting under way vs Rockies in SF. Reds have 2 more wins and 1 more loss. After today’s game the Giants will have 2 games in hand to the Reds.They will be played on Sept 21 (vs LAD in LA) and Sept 25 (vs Padres in SF). Giants have the 2 team tiebreaker over the Reds.

    • Melvin

      It just comes down to us winning or not.

      • Jim Walker

        The Marlins play 4 this week with the Brewers in Milwaukee then go home for 3 with the Bravos and 3 with Metz for 13 in a row before an off day. But then after the off day, their homestand concludes with 3 more versus Brewers. If they can survive that 16 game stretch in 17 days, they deserve to be in the postseason. As a reward, they close on the road with Metz and Pirates, 3 each.

  6. DaveCT

    A hot (and healthy) September could put India close to 20 HR’s for the year. That’s decent production for a 2B.

    Renfro adds to that power from the right side, while Votto and a hot Benson, with whatever we can get from Fraley and Friedl, add power from the left side.

    Theme here is having guys who’ve gone down the home stretch at the ML level (except Benson of course) that can alleviate some responsibility being felt by the rookies.

    Elly, CES, MCLain if/when, Marte, and some dude named Steer (who is more veteran than rookie IMO at this point) all stand to benefit from getting more support.

    • Redsvol

      I totally agree that its important to take some pressure and responsibility off the rookies. They need to be contributing, not necessarily leading. Its a lot to ask a rookie to lead a team during the home stretch of a pennant race.

      Hopefully Greene, India, Votto, Antone, Renfro and Bader can take on some responsibility.

  7. Mark A Verticchio

    I have been on vacation, still kept up with the Reds, 5 and 5 since I left. Of course I came back with Covid, don’t feel bad though. Anyway it seems like many have given up despite the big win. I will admit that the odds don’t favor the Reds but with 17 games to go anything can happen. The biggest positive I can think of is that of the 4 contenders for that last spot, 5 for 2 spots if you count Cubs, the Reds are the only one to not get hot lately. In fact they haven’t played above average since early July, over 2 months. Well, it’s now or never, not likely with all the pitching problems but you never know. Hope they can send Votto out with a bang.

    • Votto4life

      Sorry to hear you have Covid, Mark. My wife flew back from a trip home to England. She tested positive the very next day. I’ve been sleeping on the sofa the last three nights as she quarantines on our king size bed lol

    • wkuchad

      Sorry to hear Mark. All of a sudden, I’m hearing about a lot of new cases from others.

  8. Mario

    Only 10 comments after a win and in the playoff hunt. Hard to imagine they get in but you never know. Elly is slumping again, down to .235 and an OPS barely above .700. They need him badly.

    • MBS

      I don’t understand how they are still in the hunt. I am glad they are, but this team is being duck taped together as it tries to cross the finish line. I’ve pretty much mentally moved onto 2024. At this point I’m more excited for individual accomplishment, like the successful return of Greene. The extending of Abbott is also huge imo.

      Maybe they defy logic, and make the playoffs, that would be a nice way for JV to go out, and for the rookies to finish their 1st seasons as Reds.

      • MBS

        I should clarify “The extending of Abbott is also huge” as it could be read as a contract extension. I just meant innings pitched so he’ll be ready for a long run in 24.

  9. Roger Garrett

    Greene was the man today and we needed it badly.Reds will need to go on a run but its really one game at a time and all must play like it and we must score some runs.Got to do what ever we have to do to score runs

  10. Kevin Patrick

    Its kind of exciting to think what Greene might be able to do should he stay healthy. Whatever happens this year, it will be an interesting off season to see what they think they need for next year. There will be fewer question marks than last year I think. Good to see Benson and Votto looking big and strong…India too.

    • Redsvol

      Greene has a super high ceiling. However, he is going to have to avoid these long IL stints to achieve it. I’m afraid he’s going to get into is 5th year and only have 400 innings to show for it.

      Can’t develop a feel for the off-speed stuff if he’s not consistently available. He requires too many pitches to get thru the 6th inning. He knows this and wants to improve.

  11. Andrew Brewer

    Reds struck out 6 times and drew 3 walks on the day. 4 homeruns and 2 triples out of their 10 hits. The Reds are capable, but we need a streak. Detroit and then the Mets are next. And the final three will be against the Cardinals… Man, Benson has sure been on fire ! He had two dbls and a homerun the other day, and 3 hits today including a homer. Yeah, the Reds need to light a fire and burn their way into the Playoffs…

  12. Tom Mitsoff

    Last week I figured it is going to take 87 wins to get that final wild card berth. To get there, they’ll need to win 13 of their last 17 to get in, in that scenario. Not impossible, but not likely either. I’ll still be hanging in there with everyone here until if-when it’s over.

    • Jim Walker

      Whether the Dbacks end up with 83, 85, 87 or some other number of wins, the Reds only need to win two more games than them the remainder of the season to tie and advance past them in a two way tie since the Reds hold the 2 team tiebreaker on them.

      I prefer ordinal to cardinal until it comes to the final crunch; but, I’ll be surprised if any of the 4 teams vying for the last WC spot get to 87. The Snakes would need 12-6; the Marlins 13-6; the Giants 14-5; and the Reds 13-4. I think 84 or 85 wins and quite possibly a multi team tie are more likely.

      If the Snakes and Fish would both win on Monday, the Reds road would get steeper. If they should both lose, the Reds situation would be much improved. And keep in mind the Snakes and Giants have 2 head to head (at Arizona). That could loom very large.

  13. TR

    Getting Greene, India and Fraley back for the last three weeks of the season along with Elly getting on base could be the spark for the Reds to take the last NL wild card.

  14. CFD3000

    Welcome back Hunter Greene, Jonathan India and the old man Joey Votto. Love the returning home runs, but the triples are really the mark of offensive success for this version of the Reds combining speed, power and excitement. Terrific pitching today and don’t underestimate what Antone brings to this team if he stays healthy. It’s going to be a fun 17 games. Go Reds!

    • TR

      Regardless, it is nice to have the Reds back in the playoff chase in September.

    • greenmtred

      Yes, and welcome back Alexis Diaz; he looked like himself again.

  15. Eddiek957

    Newman was pulled from Bats game before getting an at bat. Guess Marte needs some time on the IL

    • Jim Walker

      Or somebody else on COVID, perhaps

      • Rick

        Could be covid. It’s currently at a 29% rise.
        My wife and I had it 7/22. We took that 2nd booster last October a month after my knee surgery, & we both have had lingering respiratory issues since. I’m immune compromised with my upper & lower respiratory problems resulting from RA, black lung, asthma, copd.

  16. Amarillo

    This team originally started going cold when India went on the injured list. Now that he’s back, maybe we can make something happen.

    • MK

      They were 8 games above .500 when he went on DL they are now 2.

  17. Rick

    The lineup sure looked better with a healthy India in it. It would be great to have a healthy McLain returned to it, and Stephenson get the vast majority of starts for the remainder of the season.
    Antone and India bring an energy element.

    If I were the Mgr, I would treat the rest of the regular season as a playoff. And the pool of the “ELEVEN” starting positional players as follows and lineup construction:
    2B India
    CF Friedl– plays every day
    LF Steer
    DH Fraley/Renfroe(platoon)
    SS Elly
    1B Votto/CES(platoon)
    C Stephenson
    RF Benson– plays every day
    3B Marte
    HANDEDNESS takes a backseat regarding Senzel, Bader. Maile, if Tyler I’d dinged up or needs a “must” day off. If any starter gets red or white hot, your batting position could be fluid to maximize your best order fit to best optimize the best production outcome.

    • Chris

      You can’t be platooning CES. CES should start everyday, and he’s much better in the lineup daily than Marte is.

      • Rick

        Ownership won’t go for Votto sitting a lot down the stretch on likely his final season. If I had rein and wasn’t handcuffed by them, then CES everyday all day for me, he needs the reps for 24 and beyond. CES has only had a few innings with the Reds at 3rd hence Marte, and with Steer in left that keeps a scrubb out of the outfield.

  18. rednat

    watched the replay of Joey’s bomb. Walker is basically playing Joey on the warning track in right. my purpose in the last years of my life is to get the dimensions changed at gabp. Griffey is retired. He didn’t break Aaron’s record so we have to move on. we struggle to score runs at home and the small outfiled dimensions and gaps are a big reason why. we want a field where it is easy to hit singles doubles and triples and hard to hit home runs. And we have the exact opposite.
    we built a stadium for Griffey Junior, now let’s build one for EDLC!

    • Rick

      Sign me up. Move them back 10ft, maybe 5ft in center & and make that wall about 8ft high.

    • Harry Stoner

      This would likely benefit the pitching staff as well.

      I’ve heard stories about the “engineering difficulties” which resulted in the shallow OF fences at GASP, but never bought into them.

      I agree, I thought the original design was to help Griffey and Dunn get more home runs and sell more fireworks.

      No Viking helmets for 2bs or 3bs hit into the gap.

      Home runs still sell tickets.

      The Reds MLB.com website will tout the two solo home runs in its headline while the Reds were getting drubbed.

      I support the idea, but don’t see it coming.

      Don’t know what it would take to make the change?

      How about adjusting the fences for Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Williamson, Abbott etc.?

      • Jim Walker

        Since the dump called Wrigley Field was rebuilt over, under, and around the aged preexisting shell, it is hard to believe the right field fence couldn’t be moved back at GABP if any real desire to do so existed.

        Quite reasonably, the county probably doesn’t want to sink any major funds into GABP, at least not without a major extension to the Reds lease which expires after the 2037 season. Meanwhile, the Reds probably have that lease expiration date circled as the target for an entirely new venue.

      • greenmtred

        I assume that travel incognito when visiting Chicago, Jim?

      • Jim Walker

        Green>>> I only visit Chicago when I am required to switch planes there; and, true to form O’Hare is the Wrigley field of major airports.

        The last time I went through there was about 8 months before the pandemic hit with force. The international arrival terminal was being renovated and after experiencing the cattle call of customs, we were herded like a roundup to buses going to the domestic terminals. Seriously, the first thing that came to my mind during the experience was 50 years prior when MTIs were marshaling USAF recruits deplaning in San Antonio and hustling us to buses.

        In the end, after our gate was switched 3 times in 2 hours, we got seats on our flight out but only because a heads-up person in Vienna, Austria 16 hours earlier had done everything right to check us through on entry there. However, some unfortunate person who had an actual “valid” boarding pass for the flight got bumped for one of our seats. That’s Chicago.

  19. David

    The “flex” game that would have won the series was Saturday night, when the Reds lost 4-3. This was a winnable game, they could just not muster that 4th run to tie the game.
    The Friday game was just bad pitching and a blowout. Again, maybe Andrew Abbott is just worn down.
    This has kind of been the Reds’ M.O. for the last six weeks. Close, winnable games seem almost always to go to the opposition.
    During the hot winning stretch (from middle of May to the All-Star Break), they won a lot of those kind of “flex” games. And this is the mark of a winning, playoff team. But they just couldn’t keep this up.

    The Reds’ are a lot better team than they were last year. This team has a tremendous amount of young talent that is just going to get better. But the odds are pretty long about getting into the playoffs now, even with the expanded wild card system.

    • Indy Red Man

      Yep. Losing 7 of 9 at home vs Nats, Miami, and Cards probably did it. They had 3-4 of those games in hand too. How you get 3 in the 2nd inning and don’t score again vs that staff and in our bandbox? Big picture is rosy, I know I know

      • Jim Walker

        You got it right. The first half of August defined the Reds season to date as much as the 12 game winning streak in the second half of June into July.

        The Reds opened August with a 6 game loser, 3 to the Cubs on the road then 3 to the Nats at home. They then dropped 2 of 3 to the Fish at home. went to Pittsburgh and split 2, and came back home and split a pair with the Guardians. This gave them a 3-11 record from Aug 1-16.

        At some point, even an analytics based manager has quit viewing the situation as a regression to baseline, quit playing business as usual, and start managing every game like an elimination game in a short series until the team is back on even keel.

  20. Roger Garrett

    Diaz at 95 and 96 is much better and makes his slider unhittable.He has to be tired.Not sure why he came in at all with a 6 run lead but I guess it was the way Bell had it scripted before hand.I would think as many days off you could give him would be better right now.

    • greenmtred

      I thought bringing Diaz in in a low-pressure situation made a lot of sense. I’m sure that this late in the season, he’s tired, but I’d be surprised if he wasn’t a little bit shaken by his recent troubles, too, so a morale boost has to help. He’s still a young guy. And Brantley has said more than once that relief pitchers need to work.

      • wkuchad

        Agreed GMR, especially with the off day Monday.

      • Rick

        Thanks for your empathy post from above re; covid.

        I think that using Diaz was the right call as well. You have to keep that shoulder & arm conditioned for usage.

  21. BuzzKutter

    Still hanging in the race with a few games to go. You really can’t ask for much more. I have spent too many years wondering why I am listening or watching a team with no chance to make the playoffs.

    I may be in the minority liking that Votto and India are back but it sure was nice to hear their post game interviews. They were all about now being the time to win and get in these playoffs.

    • greenmtred

      It may not be an accident that the team played well yesterday. It certainly appears that those two are important to the young players. I agree with those who hope that Votto is used more as a DH and doesn’t take reps from CES, and a healthy India will make things interesting if McClain makes it back this season. To my mind the pitching situation makes the playoffs a very long shot. Greene has had two dominant performances in a row, but Abbott is running on fumes, and until Ashcraft and Williamson and Lively are back, the Reds will frequently be starting guys who have no business starting in MLB. It has been a good season, though, and I haven’t lost my cautious optimism about next year and beyond.

      • Rick

        If MM returns he takes over short, Elly to 3rd, Steer to left. Marte loses reps imo.

      • Rick

        Bum shoulders usually have less bullets to use. I think discretionary usage of JV would benefit Joey, and the Reds. Give him rest and use him selectively might be prudent.
        I’ve had a bum shoulder from bb since my early 20’s,(without Joey’s medical care, naturally).

  22. Jim Walker

    One of the amazing and ironic things about this NL wildcard chase is that the Metz find themselves in the middle of it in a spoiler role. They host both the Snakes (4 games) and Reds (3) this week. They then have 6 games with the Marlins, 3/3, over the final 2 weeks of the season. And incredibly while the Phillies appear to be safely in as a WC, the Metz other remaining 6 games are with them.

    • Rick

      We found ourselves in that role far too often, and at times we were a feisty team that played contenders tough.

  23. RedBB

    Reds need to jump 3 teams ahead of them to get the final WC spot. It’s not going to be easy. I think they need to go minimum 11-6 to get that spot. I’d put their odds of making it about 15%

  24. Broseph

    Seeing Votto’s HR yesterday got me thinking, he still has pop in the bat and can add some value to this team into next year in a limited role.

    Do players ever restructure contracts? Votto has to know the team is not picking up his option. Could / would he be willing to say:

    “I’ll take 2M with some incentives to play next year” I want to get us a WS and retire a Red”

    • Rick

      I don’t believe that the mlbpa allow restructuring like the nfl & NBA do.

      • Chris

        I don’t think it would be restructuring. The option gets denied, which means Votto gets his $7 Mil to become a fee agent. Once he’s a free agent anyone can sign him for whatever amount, including the Reds. At least I believe that’s how it works.

    • Roger Garrett

      I love the guy but he got a 75 mph cookie to hit off a lefty in contrast to Friedl who went deep on a 92 mph fastball off the same pitcher.They all count but it was 6-1 in the 8th when Joey went yard.Hope he hangs it up and the Reds have a very special day for him this season.If he returns in 2024 at any cost it could get really embarassing for him and the team.

    • Jim Walker

      I agree with Rick and Chris. The option would be bought then Votto would sign as a free agent. The only wiggle I think could be possible under the MLB/ MLBPA CBA is if Votto signed an extension worth more in 2024 than the option buyout prior to the option buyout call date.

      And I’d surmise that if such a thing could happen, somewhere in the legalese fine print it would say that $7m of the money paid to Votto’s in 2024 was his option buyout which he agreed to be paid in 2024 in addition to his new 2024 salary of $xM.

  25. redfanorbust

    Count me in as a big JV fan. What you posted may well come true but I for one don’t want it to happen. Valuable at bats don’t need to be taken away from young players. It is the whole point of a rebuild. He would be a platoon player at best and maybe if lucky hit you .240-.250 and 15 home runs. Reds have plenty of young players that can match that and probably seal 10-15 bases and cost less. While I see the Reds making the playoffs and possibly even the division title next year WS contention I think is a ways away. So much rides on Reds getting some much needed luck on the severe injury problems that seem to plague us so often and spending significantly on above average FA’s during the off season. As much as I love him, Votto should not be one of them.

    • David

      At the end of his career, Henry Aaron did play a season with the Milwaukee Brewers, sort of his “hometown team”, as the Braves were originally in Milwaukee when Henry was a young player in the late 1950’s.
      So Joey may get a chance to play a season in Toronto in 2024, if he wishes, or Toronto wishes (yeah, good luck with that). I wish him the best, but he will be (is already!) 40 years old next season, and the Reds have a ton of young players that need to play. Maybe his shoulder is better, and he hits a lot better next year, but I would not bet $7-10 mill on that if I were the Reds.
      Will there be a “Joey Votto Appreciation Day” before the 2023 season ends, to send him off? If not, that may be a clue (or not) that he will come back next season with Cincy.

      • Melvin

        “Will there be a “Joey Votto Appreciation Day” before the 2023 season ends, to send him off? If not, that may be a clue (or not) that he will come back next season with Cincy.”

        I’d say that probably would have already been announced if that were going to happen.