The Cincinnati Reds couldn’t come through with a third straight win in Detroit on Thursday afternoon. The Tigers grabbed an early lead on a bullpen day and they didn’t look back, capping things off with a grand slam in the 8th inning that put the game out of reach in an 8-2 win.
|Cincinnati Reds (76-72)
|Detroit Tigers (67-79)
|W: Olson (4-7) L: Law (4-6)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
While walks will haunt, there’s not a cool saying and or 1980’s scoreboard graphic for “hit batters will haunt”, but the result is the same. Derek Law plunked Matt Vierling to start the game and watched him steal second base and then score on a 2-out single from Kerry Carpenter to put Detroit in front 1-0.
Sam Moll tossed a scoreless 2nd inning for the Reds before Ben Lively took over in the 3rd. Lively set the Tigers down in order in the inning, but Detroit got their offense going against him in the bottom of the 4th after a leadoff single was followed up by a 2-run homer from Akil Baddoo that just cleared the wall in right field to put the home team up 3-0.
Cincinnati was hitless heading into the 6th inning, but Jake Fraley led off with a single to break up the no-hitter. Unfortunately for the Reds, Nick Martini grounded into a double play to erase the baserunner. It was doubly unfortunate as Spencer Steer followed up with a home run, making it a 3-1 ballgame.
Lively was cruising along until the bottom of the 7th inning when Parker Meadows led off with a single. After getting a fly out, Lively tried to barehand a comebacker from Zach McKinstry. He knocked it down and picked it up and threw to first, but the throw pulled Joey Votto off of the bag and everyone was safe. Lively then exited the game – though it wasn’t clear if it was due to the barehanded attempt causing an issue or if it was just the move that was going to come if he allowed another runner.
Buck Farmer entered the game and gave up an RBI single to Spencer Torkelson on the first pitch he threw that extended the Tigers lead to 4-1. Farmer responded with a strikeout and a pop up to end the inning, but the damage had been done.
Detroit went to the bullpen in the top of the 8th, bringing in a lefty reliever. David Bell called on Nick Senzel to pinch hit for Elly De La Cruz to lead off the inning and Senzel came through with a single. Noelvi Marte then pinch hit for Will Benson and he lined a single back up the middle. Hunter Renfroe then came on to pinch hit for Jake Fraley, but that one didn’t work out as he struck out. Bell wasn’t finished, though, as Christian Encarnacion-Strand then came off of the bench to hit for Nick Martini. The Tigers countered by calling Jason Foley – a righty – enter the game from the bullpen. Two pitches later the Reds were all heading to the dugout as a double play ended the threat and the inning.
Buck Farmer returned for the bottom of the 8th and things went south, fast. HE hit Tyler Nevin, gave up an infield hit, and then loaded the bases with a 1-out walk. Matt Vierling then hit a ball to Canada (editors note: the ball did not actually make it to Canada) for a grand slam that made it 8-1.
Spencer Steer led off the inning, and replay showed he was hit by a pitch, but the umpire didn’t call it and apparently David Bell didn’t ask for the challenge soon enough. Steer would strike out. TJ Friedl took the second pitch he saw and hit it 15 rows deep in right field to make it 8-2. Back-to-back groundouts would end the game as the Tigers picked up an 8-2 win and avoided being swept.
Key Moment of the Game
Matt Vierling’s 8th inning grand slam. While it was unlikely that a 3-run deficit was going to be overcome in the 9th by the Reds, a 7-run deficit was almost assuredly not going to be overcome.
Notes worth noting
Spencer Steer’s home run game the Reds 55 homers hit by rookies in 2023. That set a new franchise record.
Elly De La Cruz walked in both of his plate appearances today. He’s now walked 19 times since August 1st (169 plate appearances). He had 12 walks prior to that (207 plate appearances). The hits, however, haven’t been coming as he’s hit just .189 since the 1st of August.
Nick Senzel’s pinch hit single against a lefty puts him at .337/.385/.594 on the year against left-handed pitchers (109 plate appearances).
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs New York Mets
Friday September 15th, 7:10pm ET
Hunter Greene (3-6, 4.75 ERA) vs David Peterson (3-8, 5.34 ERA)