The Cincinnati Reds didn’t pick up many hits on Wednesday night, but Jeimer Candelario had three of them and two of them were homers. His second homer of the night was a 3-run shot that put Cincinnati ahead for good as the Reds topped the Cleveland Guardians 4-2 to split the series.

Final R H E
Cleveland Guardians (43-23)
2 7 0
Cincinnati Reds (33-35)
4 6 0
W: Lodolo (7-2) L: Bibee (4-2) SV: Diaz (14)
Box Score | Game Thread

Jeimer Candelario got things started when he crushed a 2-out solo homer in the 1st inning to put Cincinnati on top 1-0. Cleveland tried to get something start in the 2nd, getting two men on, but Nick Lodolo was able to work out of it.

In the 3rd inning Lodolo got himself into trouble. After giving up two singles he hit Josh Naylor with two outs to load the bases. The Reds lefty then walked David Fry to bring in the tying run. Andres Gimenez followed with a grounder that Elly De La Cruz made a nice play on, but he and Lodolo were both saved when his throw was scooped by Spencer Steer to end the inning.

The following inning was another one that saw Lodolo get himself into trouble. He gave up a 1-out double and then hit Austin Hedges to put two men on. Steven Kwan then singled into left field and Jacob Hurtubise came up firing to the plate and his 93 MPH throw got to Tyler Stephenson just in time for him to make a swipe tag on Brayan Rocchio for the second out of the inning and keep the game tied up. A groundout followed and the inning was over with no damage.

Cleveland would get through in the top of the 5th inning. After back-to-back singles put runners on the corners, a 1-out groundout brought in the go-ahead run for the Guardians.

The Reds put themselves in a good situation in the bottom of the 6th when Will Benson and TJ Friedl led off with singles against Tanner Bibee. Cleveland opted to stick with him against Elly De La Cruz and that move paid off as he struck him out for the third time in the game. Bibee’s pitch count was mounting but he remained in the game to face Jeimer Candelario. The two battled it out for eight pitches, but on that final pitch it was Candelario who won the war as he hit a 3-run home run just over the fence in the right field corner to put Cincinnati up 4-2.

After allowed two runs over six innings, Nick Lodolo was finished for the day and the Reds turned the game over to the bullpen. Lucas Sims fired off a hitless 7th inning and then Sam Moll came out and had a perfect 8th as the home team held onto their 2-run lead. Alexis Diaz entered the game for the 9th and got a pop up on the second pitch to Steven Kwan to start the inning. He needed 11 more pitches to retire the next two batters as he picked up the save and sealed the win.

Key Moment of the Game

Jeimer Candelario’s 3-run homer in the 6th that put the Reds ahead for good.

Notes Worth Noting

Jeimer Candelario’s hitting .340 and slugging .702 in 11 games during June. He’s homered five times in those 11 games.

Sam Moll threw a perfect inning to lower his ERA to 1.84 on the season.

On Elly De La Cruz bobblehead night there were 42,427 tickets sold. That’s the biggest non-Opening Day weekday attendance ever at Great American Ball Park.

Fun stat: Both starting pitchers finished the day with 102 pitches thrown.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Milwaukee Brewers

Friday June 14th, 8:10pm ET

Hunter Greene (4-2, 3.61 ERA) vs Freddy Peralta (4-3, 3.95 ERA)

78 Responses

  1. LDS

    An important victory, on the backs of pretty good pitching and a career day from Candelario. The Reds need the team that swept the Dodgers to show up this weekend and derail the Brewers. Otherwise the could be 10 out by Monday.

  2. Klugo

    CLE is a tough team to beat. They certainly dont beat themselves. Good win.

    • Chad A Donnell

      You nailed it Klugo. It took a well-pitched clean game from the Reds to pull this off.

  3. Ted Alfred

    Great win heading into the Milwaukee series. Maybe it will be Candelario’s break out game. By the way, I trust Sam Moll on the mound in high leverage situations far more than any pitcher in the bullpen. If Diaz runs into future problems as the closer Moll should be the next guy to get that shot at closing games. He seems unflappable and his whip is 0.89, which is really fantastic. What a great trade that was with the A’s…and I believe the team still has three or four more years of team control.

    • Melvin

      Yes. We don’t help in the bullpen or in starters for that matter near as much as we need hitting help in the outfield. We NEED it. Go get it Krall if at all possible.

  4. TR

    Big win for the Reds and quite a game for Candelario with four RBI’s. He’s getting it together. Outstanding pitching all around. Big series in Milwaukee and Pittsburgh to move up in the NLC.

  5. Harry Stoner

    That was yet another game the Reds might easily have lost via a bullpen meltdown in years past.

    Or with 15 Ks instead of the 13 they had.

  6. Jeremiah

    Hey splitting with Cleveland got to take that! Nice pitching from the Reds, actually both games not bad overall. Moll as Ted said, great trade there I agree, maybe Krall’s best trade so far as it relates to bringing in a player with immediate impact?

    Diaz for all his inconsistencies, actually has been decent in the closers role this year. He’s a bit of an unknown at times but not bad lately.

    Candelario becoming the guy I think the Reds hoped. I don’t think anyone thought he’d be a superstar, but if he finishes with 20-25 hrs and 70-80rbis I think that’s what the Reds were hoping for.

    When does Bell move De La Cruz out of that 2nd spot? EDLC really struggling when you look at his last 100 bats or so. As much as Benson has struggled you can make more of a case for him in the 9 spot than EDLC in the 2 spot. I love Elly’s talent, but he’s a Triple A hitter right now batting 2nd. I think moving him down in the order would help him, take some pressure off.

    • Melvin

      “When does Bell move De La Cruz out of that 2nd spot?”

      We were down one with runners on 1st and 2nd nobody out. I don’t think Bell realizes having EDLC bunt there would actually take some pressure off of him. It would show he can still help the team without having to hit a three run homer. Instead another K.

      • MoRedsFan

        I was thinking the exact same thing. It didn’t even have to be a straight sacrifice, either. I was hoping he was going to lay one down.

    • Jason Franklin

      Hurtubise should be batting second because he can actually do things like bunt and move the runner over if he is in that spot. I know he didn’t have a great game tonight at the plate, but he seems to be the one who has solid hitting ability.

      • JA

        So, another thing, if Hurtubise bunts very well, he needs a guy faster above the average to move on
        I didn’t understand, why line up today is Tyler, then hurtubise… makes no sense to me

      • Jimbo44CN

        Yes, Hurtambees should be batting second.

      • Tony Cloninger

        This isn’t the 70s where you hit a guy who could barely hit 200-240 batting 2nd just because he can bunt. That’s not going to happen. If you want to have Elly bunt sure. If you want a more consistent hitter who does not strike out but can be productive.

  7. JB

    Another fun fact for Sam Moll – since coming over to the Reds last year he has a 1.14 ERA. It’s just amazing they sent him to AAA earlier.

    • TR

      Sam Moll is the Reds hidden pitching weapon like Williamson was last season. Despite an inconsistent offense, the improvement in bullpen performance gives me confidence in the Reds playoff chances.

  8. Melvin

    “Jeimer Candelario’s hitting .340 and slugging .702 in 11 games during June. He’s homered five times in those 11 games.”

    Awesome. Need some more help. 🙂

    • Jason Franklin

      Agreed. They need to go out there and trade for a right handed hitter with power and discipline. Yet, just maybe, Noelvi will come back up in a couple of weeks from his suspension and be just that? We can hope. If he does, that really frees up Krall to do some other creative trades (if he does).

      • Melvin

        Marte will be an infielder. Even if he comes up and does well we still need outfield help a great deal.

      • DHud

        Marte back in the IF shuffles Steer back out to LF

        RH OF

      • Melvin

        Still need more help in RF and if we do make the post season Marte won’t be around.

  9. JA

    Well deserved win for Lodolo extraordinarily backed up by bullpen.
    But tonight’s game hero is Mr. Candelario. Kudos to him

  10. Roger Garrett

    Six hits,13 punchouts and Candy beats the Tribe 4-2.Got to love it cause Candy is a Red.Sims Moll and Diaz nail it down after Lodolo fights his way through 6 innings.

  11. sultanofswaff

    Venturing into enemy territory Friday–Greene vs. Peralta. Can’t wait!

  12. RedsGettingBetter

    Today Candelario could propel the team to win this huge game but the offense is cold again. The bullpen did a solid job. The next series against Brewers I think will be as tough as it gets. The Brewers as the Guardians are pretty solid teams but a little bit overperforming in my opinion. If the Reds will be able to win the series at Milwaukee would be outstanding although if they win just one game wouldn’t be bad. Should just avoid get swept.
    Elly and Hurtubise are really struggling right now, let us see if they could wake up this weekend and help the team offensively.

  13. Jim Walker

    Big time players make big time plays in big games.

    The Candyman just did. And what a PA it was.

    • Rednat

      Glad we have him for 3 years. He is in his prime. Switch hitter. Good 3rd baseman. I just hope the reds dont do something stupid and trade him.
      We need as mamy veterans like him as possible.

      • earmbrister

        What’s not to love for a player who came over to the Reds and struggled mightly in his first month with the team? He perservered and is now doing what he had been doing for 3 of the last 4 years.

        And yet some are still talking about his (average) batting average out there in the world wide web. The average MLB BA this year is .241
        The extra base hits are just a BIT more important.

  14. Eddiek957

    I think Elly could use a couple days off. I wonder what Diaz stats are in save situations? Seems he pitches badly in non save situations. I thought Candy’s play at third was huge

    • jon

      When Marte comes up Elly will be getting rest.

    • Jimbo44CN

      He looks tired. This playing every day is wearing on him. Yes, he needs a day off.

    • Chad A Donnell

      He has two days off in four days. No excuses for him this weekend. Big time players show up in big time games.

    • LarkinPhillips

      To me this a big upgrade and if the Red Sox would do it, I would pull the trigger quickly. We have a ton of talent at that level (A) that would be ahead of Jorge. While I greatly dislike Oneill, and anyone who came up with the Dirty Birds, he plays good defense and crushes lefties. His flyball swing would be good in GABP as well. Send Dunn or Hurtubuise down and deepen our bench with a quality major leaguer.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Sorry, but just don’t like the guy. But, if it did happen, Dunn is the one that needs to go down. Not H.

      • LarkinPhillips

        agree Jimbo. Have to hold your nose to even say his name lol

  15. Indy Red Man

    Livan Soto hit .375 in his 65 big league at-bats. That’s a little better start then Blake Dunn. Swap’em out and give Elly a couple of nights off. Yeah we def need OF help. Benson has issues and Fraley only seems to have warning track power? Have him wear the Viking helmet 24/7. If you’re not going to trade for someone then consider playing Stuey vs righties too. He’s done ok in the past.

    • Redsvol

      I agree. Elly is gassed. He needs some time off. I’d like to see Soto given a 25 day trial.

      Great pitching by Lodolo. It’s Al about health with him. Good performance by bullpen too. Only 1 walk in 3 innings!

      Agree with many on here. Cleveland is tough. You’re not going to score much on them – and they won’t score much either. If you aren’t comfortable playing in tight games they are!

      We need to steal some of their pitching development people. They never have to go out and acquire free agent pitching.

    • VaRedsFan

      Stuey is 4-44 (.103) vs righties this year.

      • old-school

        and Will Benson is 4-42 against lefties. Perfect Reds platoon pairing.

      • Jim Walker

        Yeah but Stuey’s Career wRC+ vs RHP prior to 2024 was 91. Maybe being strictly platooned like he has been this season becomes a self fulfilling prophecy?

      • Indy Red Man

        Not too concerned about 44 random at-bats vs tough righty relievers. He’s not getting any at-bats vs righty starters where he can face a guy 3 times in a game. He was lower .700 in the past which is probably more then Herdofbeasts can produce. Guy is scrappy but has zero power

      • Harry Stoner

        Or maybe Fairchild just isn’t as good as his RLN faithful keep torturously parsing stats to suggest he is?

        I appreciate his D.

        Occasionally he comes through with the bat.

        Susceptible to the down and away slider as many of his teammates.

        Ks a lot.

        Seems to take Fraley as his base running mentor.

        Not an everyday player except in an emergency.

        He’s a bench piece who’s Consistently inconsistent.

        I’ve got no shade for Fairchild.

        He’s just not that good.

        Though sometimes he’s OK.

      • Indy Red Man

        Harry, I don’t disagree, but when you’re comparing him to Dunn or Herdofbeasts then he’s probably a slightly better stopgap

      • old-school

        I like Stuey a lot as the 4th/5th outfielder against lefty pitching. Not the end of the world if he gets some AB’s against a righty in a 6-1 game in 7th inning. He’s a good defensive outfielder who can play all 3 positions and while he’s had a few baserunning issues, I think he’s a good guy to have on 3b with less than 2 outs to get that run home late in the game. I do think the Bell culture on baserunning permeates its way into a lot of guys making outs we probably wouldn’t see with a different manager.

        But, Stuey is a good role player, not an everyday guy. Both can be true.

    • docmike

      Eh, I think Stuey is right where he should be, playing almost exclusively against LHP’s. His OPS against lefties is an .848, while against righties it’s an abysmal .391. He is the perfect platoon complement to a lefty hitter like Benson.

    • MBS

      @Indy, Soto, Espy, and Hurtubise are all no power guys. It might be though to carry all 3 on the same roster.

      I’d be ok with optioning Espy to AAA for Soto but I don’t know if we’d see a big uptick in production. The bat we need for an offense upgrade is Marte, and he can also spell EDLC at SS without the team losing as much.

  16. Doc

    When does Lodolo’s name start to enter All Star Game discussions?

    Weren’t most of the comments on this site 3-4 weeks or so ago calling for Candy to be dumped and blaming Krall for the horrible mistake in signing him?

    • Harry Stoner

      The RLN Know-It-All returns.

      Our expert at second guessing.

      Right on cue.

      2-3 weeks ago Candelario was performing poorly and the signing did look like another dud.

      Hence the critiques. I remember them.

      I don’t recall you saying ”Wait 2-3 weeks and he’ll hit two homers in one game!”

      That would put your ‘smarter-than-thou’ persona at risk.

      No, as usual, you wait until after the fact to come on here with another know-it-all ‘gotcha’ bit of after-the-fact insight to try and show how smart you are.

      It’s not working.

      • DBT

        So making a potentially premature decision that it was a bad move is fine but second guessing when the player improves is bad? Why don’t we all wait until at least July to judge the results.

      • earmbrister

        Yeah, your version of history is not working.

        You say “2-3 weeks ago Candelario was performing poorly and the signing did look like another dud”.

        Candelario had a really bad APRIL. He ended APRIL with two games where he went 2 for 4 with a HR. In May his line was:

        .247/.309/.449/.759

        In June (6/1-6/12) his line is:

        .340/.354/.702/1.056

        That’s SIX weeks of quality production, not 2-3. He now leads the Reds in OPS.

        Your negativity is not working. You can only hope that the Reds and Candelario start faltering.

      • Harry Stoner

        Dude, reading for comprehension doesn’t seem to be your strong suit, does it?

        You get yourself so confused.

        It doesn’t have to be that way.

        I know coming across as an arrogant smart guy is your MO, but it won’t work unless you try harder at reading and understanding.

        It shouldn’t be that hard, but apparently it is for you.

        I know you can do better.

        My reply wasn’t a knock on Candelario, it was pushing back against another know-it-all type who chooses to come on here and act like he’s the one who has it figured out.

        Kind of like you.

        If you read more carefully (I know you can do it!) my post was to suggest the critique of Candelario here occurred when he was hitting poorly.

        Plain and simple.

        Now that he’s hitting more to what’s expected, folks here should be more content with his play and contributions.

        I know I am.

        But you typically seem more interested in trying to demonstrate how right(eous) you that actually reading what people write (and Lord knows, actually trying to understand it) just gets in your way.

        If you want to butt your head against anything that comes your way in an effort to prove yourself as some smart guy, have at it.

        But you know what?

        It’s not working.

      • earmbrister

        You seem upset that you’re being held to account for your words in your smackdown of another poster …

        You say that “reading for comprehension doesn’t seem to be (my) strong suit, does it?”

        These are YOUR words:

        “2-3 weeks ago Candelario was performing poorly and the signing did look like another dud”.

        That seems clear enough, but somehow plain English is not your strong suit. The facts say that he’s been hitting well from April 29th on right through mid June. But you’d frame it that he he’s just been hitting for 2-3 weeks.

        People have been bemoaning the Candelario signing since day 1, with knocks on the man that border on the ridiculous (like hanging their hat on his .243 career batting average). It was a three year signing for below market value (per MLBTR) and too many here were bemoaning his April stats. There was a small contingent here that pointed out that judging a 3 yr contract after ONE MONTH of play was way too premature.

        I don’t know how many times I posted about his actual stats over the last FOUR YEARS in defending the signing.

        Now I could be wrong as well because the sample size is just a bit bigger than the April results. However, I’m a glass half full guy by nature. It doesn’t make me smarter, but maybe it makes me happier.

        The negativity of some so called Reds fans is over the top. I’ve been a fan for more than 50 years, so yes I’ve endured the lean years. However, this team is stacked with young talent and unlike some others, I’m not looking to blow it all up just when the team is finally positioned for long term contention.

        That’s what works for me.

    • DW

      The comments over the last year or so calling for Greene and Lodolo to be sent to the bullpen are the ones that drove me nuts. Gotta have patience with the young guys. The jump up to the MLB level is massive. Let them work through their struggles and make adjustments to the competition. Less than two years worth of starts was not enough to justify sending them to the bullpen, especially with the potential of those two as starters.

      • LarkinPhillips

        DW I agree with you about the HG and Lodolo stuff. What your opinion on the ashcraft to bullpen talk though?

      • DW

        I am beginning to come around to that as a possibility. At the beginning of the year I would have said no way. I would love to see him get back on track and remain a starter, but he has been so inconsistent. I like the move of sending him back down to AAA, because of how much he has struggled. He has incredible stuff, but just seems to often leave the ball out over the plate and lose focus. A cutter that has touched triple digits, a sinker that has touched triple digits, and a hard sharp slider is quite a unique and lethal arsenal. He would likely be an incredible reliever, and fit the bill of a lights out closer, but I think he still has more value as a starter if he can get it together. He is just getting to the equivalent of two years worth of starts. Plus, his stretches of success and his potential all warrant him more time. Just my opinion. What are your thoughts?

      • redfanorbust

        I agree DW and I was not one of the ones calling for them to be sent down but I can understand some peoples frustration. Given how the Reds have not been seriously relevant in the last ohhh, 34 years I have long ago chomped the bit clean in half waiting for ownership to step up. So I guess it’s understandable that some people call for demotions or just plain giving up on players prematurely or hate them one minute and loving them the next. Look how many people showed up for Elly bobble head. He’s a guy who is hitting .228 and leads all of mlb in strike outs (with Benson second) and goes 0-4 with 3 strikeouts on “his night”. His homers are an 11 way tie for 34th in the league and he hits in an extremely hitters friendly ballpark. His youth, speed, arm and swagger are what give him his popularity and shows how much Reds fans are desperate for a serious contender. Sure would have helped if 3-4 of our best hitters did not get suspended or injured for serious amounts of time, that adds to the frustration level just “a tad”.

  17. old-school

    Reds have done a nice job getting back to 2 under .500 and resetting things a bit. They are tied for 2nd place in the NL Central. They play 13 of their next 16 games against NL Central teams to finish the month. See what they do. If you want to be a winning team that’s relevant in September, gotta make hay against your own division

    Candy now leads the team in OPS, homers, and doubles, with an OPS+ 119.
    On pace for 26 homers, 36 doubles, and 66 extra base hits. He’s been an asset to the team and helped this offense get through some rough waters with more headwinds coming.

    • Jim Walker

      For me, the “.500” barrier seems to be a real thing, at least psychologically. A team gets to 1 under but then if they lose the next game, they fall to 2 back which means they need 3 straight wins to get above .500. Over the years, I’ve seen teams pinball back and forth in that 1 over to 2 under range and seemingly never totally break free of it.

      Hopefully, they can tread water in Milwaukee and then make their move to get above .500 versus the Pirates on the road and consolidate on the next homestand versus the Pirates and Red Sox.

      • Jeremiah

        I agree Jim, if they can get over .500 and even stay a few games above for awhile I think the confidence grows. They could just be a team that stays right around .500 all year, but there’s a chance a 5 game losing streak or so when still under .500 sends them tanking psychologically.

        On a related note, the Reds would have to win 22 games in a row to get to 20 over .500 like the Indians currently are. The stats/numbers in sports are always interesting. Is Cleveland really that much better than Cincy!? I don’t think so, but overall they’ve played that much better than the Reds.

    • Indy Red Man

      Idk how much it matters, but I always look at how potential FAs or trade targets did at Gabp and Candy had a 1.150 ops or something crazy

      • Indy Red Man

        I predicted he’d hit 25-30 hrs because you don’t find much tougher places to hit for power then Detroit, Washington, and Wrigley most of the time

      • old-school

        yup, the converse of that is pitching. Suter and Givens pitched well in Colorado so that was a tell they could succeed at GABP. Im always skeptical of the pitchers from Oakland or the hitters from Coors field.

  18. docmike

    Candy is making that signing look really smart right now. Will he continue to play at the same level as the last several days, probably not. But he should be a good solid starter, who will hopefully provide 25+ homers and 35+ doubles per year. Smart signing by Krall.

    • Jeremiah

      I thought it was a good signing at the time, but definitely in April/May was wondering the opposite. I think if he plays his average career numbers it was a decent signing. I think my hope was he’s in his prime most likely and one of these years at least he has a break-out year and hits 30hrs 90rbis etc., then the deal would be somewhat of a steal.

      Some of the Reds would have even better numbers if the guys around them were getting on base moreso. I think that often of India if he came up with runners on base more often…but Candelario and India have stunk for long stretches too at times, so the whole team is kind of to blame for the overall lack of offense. But nice to see it trending up recently.

  19. old-school

    Must read from Jason Williams in today’s Enquirer on Buddy Bell for Father’s day.
    Lots of conspiracy theories and speculation on his stepping down, but he revealed pretty straightforward that he mentally had not gotten over his son’s death. Long story and very revealing about a great Reds family. Bell watches every Reds game still.

    • Jeremiah

      Good article about the Bell family… I like the part of Buddy Bell skipping games back in the day to be at the birth of I believe it was David right? We put way too much emphasis on the outcomes of these games, myself included at times. I think it’s interesting that back then and maybe still now it was seen as very unlikeable for a player to miss a game for the birth of his son/daughter. That’s called wrong priorities in life which often happens in the Sports World. Just imagine if in most of our regular jobs co-workers would look down on you if you took a day off of work to be there for the birth of your son and daughter.

  20. RedsGettingBetter

    Could be Lodolo a Cy Young candidate?

  21. GreatRedLegsFan

    Tough test ahead this weekend in Milwaukee. Three major issues that should be addressed ASAP: 1. The last spot of the starting rotation, having bullpen days is just not wise long term, 2. EDLC struggles at the plate, needs a day off once in a while and be removed from the 2nd spot, and 3. The outfield situation, whereas there’re so many outfielders only two of them have impact roles with Friedl as the everyday CF and Fairchild as the 4th/5th, pinch hitter against LH and defensive replacement.

  22. Tom Diesman

    Blake Dunn optioned to Louisville today, no corresponding move yet that I can find.

  23. Indy Red Man

    Cubs lost 3-2. They had 3 hits with 11 Ks. Their offense is every bit as bad as ours and their pen is horrible compared to ours. Idk? I hope they stay down, but seem to have more then enough talent imo?

    I wouldn’t pencil in anyone but LA and Philly, but if you throw in Milw, SD, and Atlanta then that leaves the Reds, Cubs, Pitt, Cards, SF, Dbacks, and Nats all fighting for that last playoff spot. If Krall thinks he can make a deal then no sense in waiting?

    • Indy Red Man

      No Soto in the lineup for Louisville tonight?