Cincinnati grabbed an early lead but couldn’t hold on during a bullpen day as Cleveland rallied to take the lead in the 3rd inning and never looked back as the Guardians topped the Reds 5-3 to take the first game of their 2-game series at Great American Ball Park.

Final R H E
Cleveland Guardians (43-22)
5 9 1
Cincinnati Reds (32-35)
3 6 0
W: McKenzie (3-3) L: Martinez (2-4) SV: Clase (20)
Box Score | Game Thread

Brent Suter got the start on the day for the Reds and he gave up a leadoff single but was able to work around it. Triston McKenzie also gave up a leadoff single in his half of the 1st inning. On a pickoff attempt he bounced the ball past first base and allowed TJ Friedl to move up to second base. Jeimer Candelario drove him in with a double down the third base line to put Cincinnati on top.

With a good opportunity at hand, the Reds hitters seemed up to the challenge. Spencer Steer followed up with a fly ball to the wall in center, but Tyler Freeman made a leaping catch just before hitting the wall to rob Steer of extra-bases and a run batted in. Jake Fraley followed with a fly ball deep to center, too, and once again Freeman made a leaping grab and this time he may very well have robbed a home run to end the inning.

Nick Martinez took over on the mound in the 2nd inning for Cincinnati and needed just six pitches to get through the inning. Things didn’t go as well in the 3rd inning. A walk on 10 pitches began the inning and then Cleveland had back-to-back doubles to put them in front 2-1. Two more singles off of Martinez in the inning pushed the Guardians lead to 3-1. His pitch count reached 33 in the inning when he got a pop up in foul territory for the second out, but that would end his day as manager David Bell called on Sam Moll to enter the game with runners on the corners. 8 pitches later he got out of the inning and stranded both runners.

Moll, and then Lucas Sims each tossed 1.1 hitless innings out of the bullpen to hold the score at 3-1. Justin Wilson took over with one out in the top of the 6th and gave up a single but worked around it with a strikeout and a pop up to end the inning.

The Reds got a leadoff walk from Elly De La Cruz in the bottom of the inning and he moved up to second on a groundout. He then came in to score on a single by Spencer Steer that cut the lead down to one. Steer would steal second and Stuart Fairchild followed up with a walk, but the two runners would be stranded.

Fernando Cruz recorded the final two outs in the 7th inning. He returned in the top of the 8th and the first pitch he threw in the inning landed halfway up the seats in right-center to extend the Cleveland lead to 4-2. Cruz followed up by walking the next batter before Cincinnati went to the bullpen to bring in Buck Farmer. He was able to get out of the inning without any further damage.

When the 9th inning began it was Farmer making his way back to the mound. He’d give up a single to begin the inning and then walk the next batter to put two men on. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners up a base and led to an intentional walk to load the bases. Josh Naylor hit a grounder down the first base line, but Spencer Steer made a sliding catch and hopped up and fired to second to get a force out. That brought in a run as Cleveland made it 5-2. Jeimer Candelario saved another run on a diving grab on a liner to end the inning.

Stuart Fairchild led off the bottom of the 9th with a grounder that clanked off of the glove of Josh Naylor and trickled into shallow right field for a leadoff single. Back-to-back strikeouts left things in the hands of Jonathan India. Fairchild would grab second on defensive indifference and then scored when India singled on a blooper into shallow center. That brought Blake Dunn to the plate and he was hit in the helmet by a 101.4 MPH cutter. Dunn got up quickly and walked slowly to first and remained in the game. TJ Friedl took the first pitch he saw with two men on and hit it hard, but he lined out to shortstop to end the game.

Key Moment of the Game

Tyler Freeman’s 1st inning robberies of extra-base hits from Spencer Steer and Jake Fraley.

Notes Worth Noting

The only Red to reach base safely twice was Stuart Fairchild, who did not start the game. He went 1-1 with a walk after taking over for Jake Fraley.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cleveland Guardians vs Cincinnati Reds

Wednesday June 12th, 7:10pm ET

Tanner Bibee (4-1, 3.73 ERA) vs Nick Lodolo (6-2, 2.92 ERA)

69 Responses

  1. Melvin

    “Tyler Freeman’s 1st inning robberies of extra-base hits from Spencer Steer and Jake Fraley.”

    Those were great catches for sure.

  2. LarkinPhillips

    Two straight games without a sac bunt. Two straight loses. No such thing as a coincidence!

    Just kidding. Cleveland is a very good team and we battled back in a bullpen game. Cleveland made a few plays to save runs and got the timely hits. We need a good start from Lodolo tomorrow and hope to escape with a split.

    • Longtimefan

      4th straight game with little offense. Our offensive outburst was short lived. Was fortunate to win a couple of games against the Cubs without scoring much. Overall the pitching is still pretty solid but we were getting Somes breaks along the way. You have got to consistently be able to score some runs to be successful. 2-3 runs a game isn’t going to do it especially with the pitchers we have available to close with.

      • Broseph

        I haven’t paid attention much this year but looking at the lineup, across the board its ~700 OPS or lower, topping out at .746 for EDC.

        That is not a World Series, or even playoff contender offense.

      • Melvin

        Can’t expect to win too many games scoring three runs or less.

      • earmbrister

        Broseph, the average OPS in MLB is .699 this year. At .682, the Reds rank 11th out of a 15 team NL. The largely team wide batting slump thru May is probably not “sustainable” and it’s reasonable to expect some improvement.

        On the plus side, the Reds are 6th in the NL in runs scored and 5th in BBs. Hopefully Freidl has plugged one hole in the lineup. Perhaps Marte can fill the other.

        There’s a lot of baseball yet to be played this season.

      • TR

        There’s an old saying, ‘it’s a long season.’ But, July is not too far off and adjustments, especially offense and bullpen, are needed for the expanded playoff run.

      • jon

        This team is not going to make the playoffs. Need Marte and or Mclain plus a trade for some offensive help. The k’s and lack of hitting with men in scoring position is poor.Come on let’s get some help.

  3. Melvin

    I’m sorry but the Reds need to get OUT of the platoon business one way or another if at all possible as quickly as possible.

    • Jim Walker

      Marte’s arrival could pave the way to closing out a platoon spot. Put him at 3b, move Candy to 1b, and Steer to LF.

      • Melvin

        Candy might be more of a DH if at all possible. Not very good defensively. I was looking at Robert Jr. recently like you said. He looks the part of being very good. That would at least get rid of the outfield platoon. I’m not sure about the CES situation. According to Annie Sabo tonight, if I understood her correctly, CES has the option to play through it without danger of further injuring his hand/wrist and then wait till the off season for surgery. The “balls in his court” evidently. Didn’t sound like it’s a done deal for Williamson either to have surgery by the way.

      • Jim Walker

        @Melvin>> My perspective on the “play through it without danger of further injuring his hand/wrist and then wait till the off season for surgery.” slant is that it is team propaganda.

        It is one thing not to further damage that particular area and another thing to do that without greatly impacting performance or even worse to injure some other area because of subtle maybe even subconscious adjustments to alleviate the pain and dysfunction from the originally injured area while “playing through it”.

        And recall last September things did not exactly work out with Jake Fraley “playing through” whatever it was he tried playing through (stress fracture of a toe on his left foot for the record). And his power numbers this year remain way off from what they were before that injury.

        It will be interesting to see what the word is from CES second opinion.

      • Melvin

        Yes Jim I agree. It still could be dangerous in more ways than one. We’ll see what CES decides.

    • Rob

      Bingo. Play the last 3 innings with the likes of Espinal, Dunn, and Fairchild in batting against a top end bullpen. How does everyone expect that to turnout? Krall should be able to see through this that 1-2 LH bullpen arms gets Fraley, Benson, ELDC, and the Reds in significantly weakened positions. We need a GOOD everyday RH outfield bat. Fairchild, Fraley, Benson, Hurtubise and Dunn are platoon players at best. Robert hit 38 HRs last year, plays good CF and has a 275 career average. Team option for multiple years at $20M. That is a bargain and should be worth a minimum of 2 top 10 prospects (to be negotiated) plus one of the above OFs. Would you rather have Robert batting in late innings rather than Dunn or Hurtebise or Espinal? No need to answer that.

  4. RedsGettingBetter

    The two Freeman’s leaping catches were too much impact on the final score according to Doug…Really the bullpen day was a bust today mainly due to Martínez being crushed in only his second inning of work. That destroyed the plan of Bell who thought Martínez would go long thru the game being dominant as recent outings…The key is trying to have a lead entering the last third of the game because they should avoid facing the Guardians bullpen while trailing as it happened today…
    I think Guardians is a very good team but they are overperforming a bit

  5. Old-school

    Bullpen days once in a blue moon are ok. But you cant have a bullpen day after montas cant go 2 innings and you have 2 bullpen days in a row and Bell is back to rotating literally 8 pitchers and 13 position players in a whirling dervish of a game

    Reds lost to a better team rotating every player every 6 outs

    Can we get back to normal SP rotations and normal lineups? If that means reds need to make a trade then do it

    Looking like CES and Williamson are out indefinitely and Ashcraft isnt pitching well and McLain is out till august.

    Reds need to play better next 4 games against 2 good teams

    • Rednat

      Guardians remind me a lot of the brewers. Both the gold standard of their respective divisions for quite some time now. Both have had a ton of success against our reds.

      Both teams for years of watching them at gabp:

      1. Foul off a lot of pitches
      2. Utilize the stolen base intelligently and in high leverage situatin
      3. Great outfield defense
      4. Hard throwing bullpen pitchers that don’t give up the homerun ball.

      Seems like a strategy the reds could follow and wouldmt neccessarily cost an arm and a leg.

  6. Melvin

    There is a rumor that the Cubs could be interested in trading for Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

    • VaRedsFan

      Luzardo has had 2 good years in a row, before floundering this year, (5.11 ERA) in the year of the pitcher.

      Would be much more interested in a Crochet/Robert package

  7. Reddawg2012

    Watching this game, it just felt like the Guardians were the superior team. Kind of reminded me of playing the Brewers.

    • Indy Red Man

      Add about 5 feet combined to 2 balls in the 1st inning and the Reds are the better team all night. Martinez leadoff walk never helps either. Disappointing because the Reds can lose 10 of 12 just as easily as they won 12 of 15. I’ve never seen anyone take 2 strikes every at-bats like Elly. There are other outcomes then 110 mph or K? I swear he had more infield hits in the first month he came up then all of this season.
      They’d pitch him in and he’d inside/out a dribbler if he got jammed. The good old days. Good ole days and Fraley’s ball was 3 rows deep. The ball is dead across the game now

      • Reddawg2012

        I disagree. Obviously luck was not on our side in the first inning. But after that, it was poor at bat after poor at bat. The offense has been struggling again since the first game of the Cubs series. And the Reds bullpen isn’t close to being on the level of the Guardians.

      • JB

        Nobody’s bullpen is close to being the Guardians. Only bullpen with an ERA in the 2’s

      • earmbrister

        Indy — “I’ve never seen anyone take 2 strikes every at-bats like Elly”.

        Yeah you have. He goes by the name Eugenio

    • Rednat

      I agree. Both ” small market” clubs that have “figured it out”.
      They both seem to have a system and identity that has worked for them for a while now

      • LDS

        And yet, for some reason, the Reds can’t figure it out. Obviously, it’s not payroll. Cleveland is spending a bit less than the Reds and well above .500, leading their division. The Reds have a huge organizational problem, starting with ownership. And until that’s solved, the Reds just aren’t going to be a consistent winner.

    • redfnanorbust

      IMO they were. We are down three of our starting hitters. Pretty hard for any team to deal with that on a day to day basis for extended periods of time.

  8. Old-school

    Guardians have the best bullpen in baseball and a lineup of guys that work counts, have plate discipline ,spray the ball all over the field, and a couple lefty thumpers that can put balls deep into the RF seats.
    The Steer ball in the first inning based on exit velocity and launch angle was a home run 11/13 x last year with similar metrics if I heard correctly on the broadcast. Guardians found a way to score though with a dead baseball.

    Reds are waiting for Marte and McLain to patch up the lineup with better at bats, but too many games where Reds score 3 or less. May be too late as Reds have some holes in the bullpen which is suddenly getting overused, a hole at the 4th starter spot( Montas is a 5th SP with his inconsistency) and some holes in the lineup.

    Reds only average 4.00 runs per game at GABP and are 2 under at home. The A’s average more runs at the Oakland Coliseum than the Reds do at GABP. Reds are back to 3 under .500 and need to find a way to beat Cleveland today and win 2/3 in Milwaukee which they havent done since 2021 before the AS break.

  9. Klugo

    I was impressed with Cleveland. They seem smart, well-managed and fundamentally sound on top of good. Sigh.

  10. SultanofSwaff

    Would be great to get the dub tonight. The last thing you want is to lose your momentum going into Milwaukee and have things possibly snowball on you. Wouldn’t be the end of the world but it would be reassuring to see them consolidate their gains and reliably sit around .500 for a while.

  11. Mark Moore

    We were flat and ran up against the buzz saw that is the Guardrails. I watched through the final out. Hope that Dunn doesn’t have any lasting impact from that bullet to the melon. The “key failures” were at multiple points and began early.

    Back at it today. A lot of pressure on Lodolo to perform since the pen is hurting. At least Thursday is an off day before heading to Bernie-land.

    • Melvin

      I assume if Dunn goes on the injured list that the guy called up can’t be Ashcraft. The only way Ashcraft can come back early would be with a pitcher going on the IL. Of course if it could happen there would have to be some maneuvering of another pitcher going down/being dropped since the limit it 13 on the 26 man. Another position player would have to be called up.

  12. JB

    Guardians lost Francona and the Brewers Counsell. Both teams were expected to take a step back because of that. Neither has and have exceeded expectations. Why? For one is scouting which was mentioned tonight by the broadcast team. You also could say both teams are fundamentally sound. They are taught very well through the organization and perform once they get to the major league club. They play great defense , spray the ball around, move the runners up and are good on the base paths. Both have great bullpens. I enjoy watching both teams play. They don’t seem to hurt themselves by committing tootblans like getting picked off 11 times.

    • Klugo

      All of this and (at least last night) the manager makes saavy, timely, smart moves that matter.

    • Melvin

      “You also could say both teams are fundamentally sound. They are taught very well through the organization and perform once they get to the major league club.”

      You might say they’re expected to be fundamentally sound when getting to the majors and held accountable for it.

  13. Roger Garrett

    I have said many times the Reds need a new voice only because I have never believed Bell is the man Krall wants as manager.If he is then the Reds need to do a reboot from top to bottom.If grip it and rip it is the hitting strategy and run at will regardless is the base running strategy along with we are not going to change who we are all comes from an organizational strategy then blow it up and clean house.Don’t have a clue what goes on behind the scenes or in the minors cause all I see is at the big league level and its been the same since Bell arrived.If it were one or two players or even three that needed to be fixed then it would point to them but on the Reds its a free for all at the plate and on the bases.I mentioned it last night that once Candy went oppo on his double followed by Steer and then Fraley almost going yard that the oppo hitting was long forgotten.Reds pitching has been good enough but when everybody is trying to hit a 9 run homer and run even when its just dumb to even think about running you have our Reds.Two guys fighting for the league title in punch outs is just really hard to imagine but whats worse is it doesn’t seem like it matters to them or the club.We play on and hope things get better I guess but its really hard to set and watch this team do the same things over and over and Bell defending them as if they never even happened.

    • LDS

      Well said Roger. Many of us agree completely and have for years.

    • DataDumpster

      I’m tired of watching too and haven’t posted for about a month. Good comments @Roger and only back on the blog today for the opportunity to see the Guardians and Brew Crew play. Those teams seem to be everything we are not; primarily well managed and fundamentally sound. No worry, it just isn’t a priority in this org. Good baseball is still available.

    • Justin T

      Agreed Roger. I can hardly watch them anymore because of this reason. Every win to me just prolongs the misery, they will never win anything w David Bell at the helm. They will be what they are now. They have been what they are now (streaky, fundamentally lacking, unsettled on roles and positions) for the 5.5
      Years he has been here.

      The one or two win streaks a year usually are what keeps him employed.

      I also try my best to be a positive human being and for that reason have had to keep my favorite baseball team at arms length.

    • Melvin

      “Two guys fighting for the league title in punch outs is just really hard to imagine”

      I agree. One could argue that one of them has to go and we know it’s not going to be EDLC.

  14. Mark A Verticchio

    EDLC and Benson at bats are just hard to watch. Elly takes more strikes than any player I have ever seen. Last night was 4 straight games where the offense was just awful to watch. I just don’t think Bell teaches fundamentals at all. The team will have their hot streaks with Bell as manager but will always linger around .500, or worse, with him because he really doesn’t have a clue how a team should be run for the long haul.

    • Beaufort Red

      I agree completely. Elly with all his talent needs to be taught the value just putting the bat on the ball with 2 strikes. Benson is a whole different story. It will get to the point his confidence will be so shot even time in the minors won’t help.

  15. GreatRedLegsFan

    Suddenly the starting rotation is shorthanded after Greene, Lodolo and Abbott. With Montas struggling, Ashcraft demoted, Phillips also struggling and Williamson in the shelf, the only option left is Spiers, so still another arm is needed. Perhaps Lowder or Petty will receive an opportunity.

  16. docmike

    Montas struggling? Yes, he did have a rough game against the Cubs. But the game before that he threw 7 shutout innings in Coors Field. If anything, you would say that Frankie is inconsistent, just like several other pitchers across MLB.

    Montas on the year has an ERA of 4.55, which works out to an ERA+ of 92. So he has been below average, but not terrible. Sounds like a 4th starter to me.

    However, with Ashcraft demoted, we still need a 5th starter. The Suter/Martinez combo is ok in a pinch, but you don’t want to do that indefinitely. Lowder and Petty are both NOT ready yet, not even close. So my vote is for Speirs to get his chance.

    • LDS

      I think a better way to look at it is that Montas has had two really good games: the one you cited and opening day. Beyond that, he’s not been anything worth blowing the money that the Reds spent on him.

  17. Roger Garrett

    The Reds demoted Ashcraft to activate Pagan.Believe what you wish as some say it was because he wasn’t performing and he was hurting their chances to compete for a play off spot.Others say it was because the Reds don’t need a 5th starter until the 18th.Both of these reasons have been reported.Lastly he had options and few have options. Pagan was going to be activated and Ash was sent down.Throw in Frankies stinker Sunday and the already made decision to move Hunter to Friday then you get a bullpen game pretty much on Sunday followed by the bullpen game last night.I listed 3 reasons to choose from but personally it was for me all about who had options.Rare you demote a starter to activate a reliever so for me ALL of this mess is on the Reds which is just another example of how clueless they can be at times.Regardless of the who’s starting and who is relieving and for how long and on what day the Reds starters including Ash are good enough.The problems on the Reds are not on the mound because regardless of the circus Sunday and last night the issue is the lack of offense.Too many punch outs,too many base running mistakes and a total lack of understanding the game situation they have right in front of them and the exist even when they win.Reds can lose 16 out of 20 and win 7 in a row and have done both but they are who they are and there not going to change.Heard that some where and thought it really fits.

  18. Rednat

    reds drawing good crowds so far this year. Should be well north of 2 million again this year at the gates. i know REDs ownership is conservative but i really hope they make a big splash with free agency this offseason. Cincinnati is not a huge destination for free agents but maybe a guy with local ties like Schwarber or Happ. or bringing Castellanos back.

    even with everyone heathy this offense needs some upgrades

    • LDS

      Unlikely. Fans are pumping money into the coffers and that’s all Castellini cares about. Winning is not a Reds priority. That should be evident to everyone here after nearly 20 years.

      • Justin T

        Stockholm syndrome is alive and well in Reds country. Thinking they will save the season at the trade deadline every year is what keeps gas in the tank for some fans. When someone shows you who and what they are, believe them. Blatantly obvious what the Reds owners are.

    • Justin T

      Kyle Schwarber would fit perfectly in the Reds lineup lol. Grip it and rip it but most of the time miss it. They may have a chance to break the all time strikeout record with him.

      • Melvin

        EDLC and Benson one and two leading the league in Ks. Guess who’s number three. 😀

  19. Roger Garrett

    Finished with the grass and tuned in to the Twins/Rockies and our old friend Kyle Farmer hitting a buck 72 starts against a lefty and singles to drive in the 5th run in the first inning.Gomber is pitching and can’t get anybody out but wait for it wait for it Farmer gets picked off and well you can’t make stuff like this up.Had to laugh cause well you know if Bell had his way he would still be here.

  20. Mark A Verticchio

    If things don’t change when Marte comes back he should bat 2nd and Elly should move down to 6th or 7th where he belongs. However, I doubt if Bell would ever have the guts to make that move.

    • wkuchad

      The guts to make that move??

      Lol, how does that take guts?

      Weren’t you and half the people on here yelling earlier in the year because EDLC was hitting too low in the lineup.

      • Mark A Verticchio

        EDLC is not a 2 hole hitter and I never claimed he should be. He strikes out way too much. When he matures I see him as a 3 or 5 hole hitter but let’s face it he is struggling right now. I am sorry if I am not a Bell fan but that is my opinion..

  21. wkuchad

    RLN is such a happier place after a win. The swing in emotions is over the top extreme.

    Well, except for LDS. I do appreciate your consistency win or lose. 🙂

    • Indy Red Man

      Yeah you’d think we just lost 7 of 9 and 12 of 17.

      I get discouraged too with the lack of offense and the dumb outs on the bases, but
      they’re still in the thick of it.

      Two thoughts:

      Tall guys K and Elly/Benson are tall. Bellinger figured it out, but not until he’d played 500 more games then our 2. It comes down to work ethic and listening skills. I have no problem with firing the hitting coach or Bell if they need a new voice

      Second is the Reds, despite Elly, have the 2nd lowest attendance in the NL. How much should they spend? They got up to 12th or whatever in attendance before & didn’t draw or win. They could spend some, but I doubt they’re going to be in the top 20 payrolls because that’s economics

      • Mark A Verticchio

        I am sorry to disagree with you but if the team ever wins with any consistency fans will come out. Sadly the Reds have not won a playoff series in 29 years. However, I still watch and hope and yes this year has been a big disappointment and even though I think they could do so much better than Bell with everything that has happened I don’t think he can take all the blame. Sometimes things just aren’t meant to be.
        Now let’s watch the rest of the season and judge Bell after the season is over. With Freidl back and Marte just about 2 weeks away if the pitching gets back to where it was I think they might compete for a wild card spot. However losing Strand, Williamson and most importantly Mclain all for possibly the rest of the season will make things very difficult. Krall needs to do his job.

      • LarkinPhillips

        @IRM, where are you seeing 2nd lowest attendance? I see us ranked 18th in baseball in total home attendance and 21st in average fans per game in all of MLB according to ESPN.

        Also, just on the eyeball test, but the crowds were much larger before half the team got hurt and we started playing poor baseball and went on the long May streak. I think Reds fan just expect to see a winning product and refuse to go for mediocrity at best. 29 years is a long time.

    • Melvin

      As I said before it’s kind of hilarious the way we Reds fans on here live and die with the Reds. After a win we’re ready for the playoffs. After a loss we’re one of the worst teams in baseball. I’m afraid I’m no exception at times. I think it mostly shows how hungry we are for a winner after not having won a playoff series in almost 30 years. I think it’s even harder for most of us on here who have seen at least a little of what a winning Reds team looks like. I feel sorry for those who haven’t even more. I’ll say it again though. Win or lose we NEED more help. We need to get OUT of the platoon business NOW especially with David Bell as the manager.

      • wkuchad

        Until we have a larger payroll, platooning gets the most out of a single position. I wouldn’t want to do it with more than one or two of our hitters, max. But until we can upgrade our offense, sending Benson and his .796 OPS vs righties out against only righty starters makes sense.

      • wkuchad

        I’m all for improving the team, but it takes two to tango. 🙂

        I hope Krall is up to the task.