The Cincinnati Reds needed a bunch of runs on Tuesday night, and they got them thanks to five home runs – including two by Elly De La Cruz – in another come from behind win. Cincinnati’s offense put up 11 runs and the bullpen allowed one hit in six innings of relief to keep their playoff hopes alive in an 11-7 win over the Cleveland Guardians.
|Cincinnati Reds (81-77)
|Cleveland Guardians (74-84)
|W: Moll (2-3) L: Karinchak (2-5) SV: Diaz (38)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
After striking out 14 batters in a dominant performance during his previous start, things went south for Hunter Greene on Tuesday night. In the bottom of the 2nd inning he gave up a 2-out, 3-run homer to Bo Naylor that put Cleveland up 3-0.
The Reds offense had Greene’s back. In the top of the 3rd inning they’d get a leadoff homer from Luke Maile. TJ Friedl walked and then scored on a triple by Spencer Steer to make it 3-2. Christian Encarnacion-Strand then capped off the inning with a 2-run homer to put Cincinnati ahead 4-3.
Cleveland stormed back in the bottom of the inning. They would get a 2-run homer from Kole Calhoun to take the lead back. Andres Gimenez followed up with a homer of his own to extend the Guardians lead to 6-4.
The Rally Reds weren’t going to go quietly into the night. Elly De La Cruz led off the 4th with a home run – his first in over a month. The Guardians had another rally in them and they would get a walk and a single to lead off the 4th against Greene and that ended his night as Cincinnati turned to Sam Moll. He would get a ground out to begin the outing, but both runners moved up a base. That led to an intentional walk of Jose Ramirez to try and set up a force out at any bag. It didn’t work and Josh Naylor picked up an RBI single that made it 7-5 before Moll would record the final two outs of the inning.
It was time for the Reds to get their rally on once again and they got a little bit of help this time as Christian Encarnacion-Strand got on via a throwing error by the pitcher to lead off the inning. Joey Votto walked to put two men on. After a pitching change, Elly De La Cruz singled and brought Encarnacion-Strand in to score, with De La Cruz taking second base on the throw to third base. Luke Maile then came through with a go-ahead single that drove in two and made it 8-7.
In the top of the 6th inning TJ Friedl picked up a home run for the 4th game in a row, a solo shot that made it 9-7. It was his 18th of the season, leaving him just two shy of turning in a 20-20 season.
Fernando Cruz took over for the Reds on the mound in the bottom of the 6th inning and he fired two perfect inning of relief. Lucas Sims came out and fired a perfect 8th inning as Cincinnati held onto their 2-run lead. In the top of the 9th inning Elly De La Cruz added to the Reds lead with a 467-foot, 2-run home run that had an exit velocity of 119.2 MPH.
Holding a 11-7 lead, Alexis Diaz entered the game. He walked Myles Straw to lead off the inning, but then retired the Guardians in order to guarantee a non-losing season as they picked up their 81st win of the season.
Key Moment of the Game
Luke Maile’s 2-run single in the top of the 5th inning that put the Reds up 8-7.
Notes worth noting
The 119.2 MPH exit velocity on the second home run by Elly De La Cruz is the top mark by a Red since they began tracking that back in 2015. It’s the 9th hardest hit baseball in the big leagues in that time. This was the first multi-homer game of his big league career.
TJ Friedl is the first Reds center fielder to homer in four straight games since Ken Griffey Jr.
The comeback win was the 48th of the year for Cincinnati. That’s tied for the most in baseball this year.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs Cleveland Guardians
Wednesday September 27th, 6:10pm ET
Andrew Abbott (8-5, 3.70 ERA) vs Shane Bieber (5-6, 3.91 ERA)