The Cincinnati Reds never got going and the Minnesota Twins scored in five different innings. Those two things made for an easy Twins victory on Tuesday night as Minnesota evened up the series. The two will play on Wednesday afternoon in the final game of a 3-game set.
|Minnesota Twins (80-72)
|Cincinnati Reds (79-74)
|W: Maeda (6-7) L: Cruz (1-2)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Fernando Cruz struck out two batters in a perfect 1st inning. He walked Max Kepler to lead off the 2nd, and Kepler would steal second base as Willi Castro struck out for the first out. Cruz followed up with a strikeout of Alex Kirilloff for the second out of the inning, but it was the final batter he faced on the day. Buck Farmer came out of the bullpen to face Ryan Jeffers and then walked him on six pitches. Matt Wallner came through with a 2-out single that brought in a run to put the Twins in front 1-0. In a match up of Farmer’s, it was Buck who came out on top of Kyle, with the latter flying out to center to end the inning.
Daniel Duarte took over for Cincinnati to start the 3rd inning with his team trailing 1-0. He had to work around a leadoff walk and a 1-out infield hit, but he kept Minnesota off the board. Alex Young couldn’t say the same in the top of the 4th as he gave up a 1-out, solo home run to Ryan Jeffers that extended the Twins lead to 2-0. Young walked Matt Wallner to follow, and that ended his day as Ben Lively entered the game and struck out both hitters he faced to end the inning.
The Reds tried to get a rally going in the bottom of the 4th with two outs. Spencer Steer picked up Cincinnati’s first hit – a double – and Jake Fraley followed up with a walk. That led to a mound visit. On the first pitch to Tyler Stephenson, which he swung through, the Reds pulled off a double steal. Four pitches later Stephenson hit a blooper into shallow center, but Willi Castro caught it on a slide to end the inning and keep the home team with a zero on the board.
Ben Lively walked the tightrope in the 5th, working around a walk and a single to keep the Twins lead at 2-0. He couldn’t quite work his way out of a jam in the next inning. He gave up four straight 1-out singles that led to two runs as Minnesota extended their lead to 4-0. A similar scenario played out in the 7th as he walked the leadoff batter before giving up a 2-run homer to Willi Castro.
Cincinnati looked primed to get on the board in the bottom of the 7th inning when Tyler Stephenson crushed a ball to dead center, only to see Willi Castro leap at the wall, reach over it and bring the ball back in to rob him of a 2-run homer. With Joey Votto due up and a righty on the mound, he was pinch hit for by Nick Martini, who struck out. Christian Encarnacion-Strand followed with a strikeout of his own to end the inning.
Down 6-0, the Reds sent Ben Lively out to the mound to begin the 8th inning. He’s give up a leadoff single and a 1-out walk before he was replaced by Derek Law. He’d give up a single to load the bases and then throw a wild pitch to bring in a run and make it 7-0.
TJ Friedl led off the bottom of the 9th inning with a single. After a fielder’s choice, Jake Fraley came through with a single to put runners on the corners. The game would end without the Reds cashing in once again, as a ground ball double play wrapped things up as the Twins evened up the series at one game each.
Key Moment of the Game
Willi Castro’s entire 7th inning. He hit a 2-run homer in the top of the 7th to make it 6-0, but in the bottom of the inning he also robbed a 2-run homer from Tyler Stephenson – seemingly giving a sign that a comeback was not in the works on this night.
Notes worth noting
The Reds managed just four hits in the game and walked just twice. The pitching staff combined to walk eight batters and they gave up 11 hits.
Miami walked off the Mets, which puts them a half-game up on the Reds in the wild card standings. Chicago, Arizona, and San Francisco are all still playing their games (Arizona and San Francisco are playing each other).
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Minnesota Twins vs Cincinnati Reds
Wednesday September 20th, 12:35pm ET
Bailey Ober (7-6, 3.67 ERA) vs Hunter Greene (4-6, 4.45 ERA)