The Cincinnati Reds didn’t have a hit until the 4th inning, but once they got one they just kept on going. Cincinnati would score five runs in the 4th, two more in the 5th, and then cap things off with four in the 6th as they blew out the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-5 to open up the 3-game series with a win at home.

Final R H E
Pittsburgh Pirates (37-41)
5 10 1
Cincinnati Reds (37-41)
11 12 1
W: Spiers (1-1) L: Falter (3-6)
Box Score | Game Thread

Neither team did a whole lot through the first two innings of the game, but the Pirates got things going in the 3rd inning with three singles that led to a run to put Pittsburgh up 1-0.

The Reds didn’t have a hit through the first three innings, but Jonathan India broke up the no-hitter with a leadoff single in the 4th. Elly De La Cruz followed up with a single of his own. Spencer Steer then doubled in two runs to get Cincinnati on the board and put them in front. Tyler Stephenson then legged out an infield hit on a chopper to third to put runners on the corners. Both runners would come around to score on a double by Stuart Fairchild, who then took third on a throwing error on the play. Levi Jordan then came through with a sacrifice fly to make it 5-1 and give him the first RBI of his big league career.

Pittsburgh wasn’t going to just roll over, and they went to work against Carson Spiers with three straight singles to center to begin the inning, with the last one being an RBI hit for Yasmani Grandal. The Pirates picked up another run on a force out to cut the Reds lead down to 5-3.

The home team bounced right back. Jonathan India doubled into left center to lead off the bottom of the 5th against new Pirates pitcher and former Reds minor leaguer Justin Bruihl. He then came around to score on a grounder up the middle by Elly De La Cruz, who somehow turned it into a double (the somehow is that he’s faster than lightning). That extended Cincinnati’s lead to 6-3. After Bruihl struck out Jeimer Candelario, Pittsburgh made a call to the bullpen. Dennis Santana didn’t fare much better as he gave up an RBI single to Spencer Steer before he was hit by a comebacker, but recovered to record the out on the play.

Cincinnati kept things rolling in the bottom of the 6th inning. Levi Jordan picked up a double off of the wall in right field with one out – his first big league hit – before coming around to score on a single by Luke Maile. Jonathan India followed up with a double to bring in Maile and make it 9-3. Then Elly De La Cruz hit a 2-run homer that landed on the deck of the riverboat above the batters eye in center to put an exclamation point on the 4-run inning.

With a big lead, the Reds turned the game over to Fernando Cruz in the 7th. He would walk Andrew McCutchen with one out and then Oneil Cruz hit a ball 458 feet into the seats in right center to make it 11-5.

Lucas Sims worked around a walk for a scoreless 8th inning. Justin Wilson came out of the bullpen for the top of the 9th inning. He gave up a 2-out single to Bryan Reynolds and then Oniel Cruz followed up with a single of his own to put runners on the corners. The Pirates then went to their bench to bring in pinch hitter Connor Joe and Wilson walked him to load the bases. That brought pitching coach Derek Johnson to the mound for a discussion. Wilson had to battle, reaching a full count, but he struck out Nick Gonzalez to end the game.

Key Moment of the Game

The entire 4-run 7th inning, which really cemented the game for the Reds.

Notes Worth Noting

Jonathan India and Elly De La Cruz each had three hits and two extra-base hits. De La Cruz is hitting .385/.467/.795 over his last 10 games. India is hitting .343/.415/.500 in June.

Carson Spiers notched his first big league win.

Levi Jordan played in 418 minor league games before making his big league debut.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Pittsburgh Pirates vs Cincinnati Reds

Tuesday June 24th, 7:10pm ET

Mitch Keller (8-4, 3.11 ERA) vs Hunter Greene (5-2, 3.35 ERA)

97 Responses

  1. west larry

    Nice win. No baserunning blunders! A couple of the relievers were a little shaky, but they had a hugh lead and it didn’t matter. candy man off for in his last couple of games, but EDLC and India wee there to pick up the slack. GO REDS!

  2. CincyDo

    JI got things started. He’s been solid and tonight he really provided the kind of spark a lead off hitter is supposed to. Love it. But I need to control my excitement because the Reds winning first game of a series is a given. What they do or don’t do in the next 2 games terrify me just thinking about it.

    • Longtimefan

      Seems like they have won the 1st game of a series about 5 times lately only to lose the next 2 or 3.

    • G-Man

      Jonathan India is hitting .323 with a .417 OBP over his last 30 games…

      • Mike Adams

        Levi Jordan is hitting .333 with a .917 OBP over his last game

      • earmbrister

        A BA of .333 with a .917 OPB would be impressive, but alas that .917 is his OPS. Jordan IS the best hitter on the Reds this year and is the BIG (5’8″) hitter they’ve been lacking.

        Still laughed at your joke though.

  3. Longtimefan

    8/12 with RISP. Finally some clutch hitting. Let’s hope that’s not all for the next week. Tomorrow’s pitcher shut us out last week. It used to be a bad thing when we faced a lefty but now we save 4 at bats because Benson is not in the lineup.

  4. Jeremiah

    Good win, nice debut Jordan! Spiers is an interesting prospect. Might be one if those unexpected guys that becomes a solid Major League Starter. They’ll probably need Ashcraft at some point due to injury or other needs, so nice to develop depth with Spiers too.

  5. SteveAReno

    Awesome to see guys who more than put in their dues like Levi Jordan have a nice debut game in the Bigs.

  6. Redsvol

    Nice team win – pitching, offense and defense all showed up. This team is capable of playing like this every night. It’s a mystery to me how such a talented team can struggle to score more than 3 runs so often.

    Great start by Spiers. I like that kid – but I like ashcraft too! Hopefully this is start of something good. Because the starting pitching has been awesome the last 2 months.

    I would like to see Soto and Blake Dunn get a lengthy trial soon. Couldn’t they bring Dunn back since Friedl was injured. I didn’t think they had to wait the mandatory time an optioned player usually has to wait if an injury at mlb level occurs? Dunn can play. He just needs some consistent at bats.

    Let’s pummel the pirates!

    • Randy in Chatt

      Dunn is on the IL in AAA now

    • Jeff Halcomb

      I believe Dunn was hit in the head by a pitch again is one of the reasons they called up Jordan.

  7. Melvin

    ” Levi Jordan picked up a double off of the wall in right field with one out – his first big league hit – before coming around to score on a single by Luke Maile.”

    He provided a spark tonight with four good ABs. Hope he plays more and Soto gets a chance too.

  8. PTBNL

    Candelario absolutely stunk up the joint at the plate and Espinal couldn’t buy a hit if it was on the first shelf at the Dollar Tree and Sims, OMG don’t get me started about his walk and Cruz put one on a T that even outdistanced Elly’s blast.

    Sorry, there was just way too much positivity going on in the comments tonight. 😉

    • Brian

      Because good baseball breeds positivity, imagine that. Bad baseball brings criticism, such a unique concept to some I guess. Go Reds!

    • Mike Adams

      That is what we need–balance.
      You forgot to rip Bell for his managing to the win.

    • Fanman

      Candelario has been carrying the Reds. He had a good AB when he went the other way and moved both runners up into scoring position. Both scored..Professional, fundamental hitting

  9. Rednat

    Weird season so far. We are 17-9 in opening games of a series this year but 20-32 in other games

    • CincyDo

      How do we explain this? Maybe the Reds get bored playing the same team 3 times in 3 days and don’t show up in 2nd or 3rd games? 🙂

      • Mike Adams

        At least in last night’s game it looked to me like the Pirates had AAA/AAAA pitching.
        They grooved many of the Reds’s hits.

      • redfanorbust

        Agree with Mike Adams. Seemed like a lot of the hits were off fatties right down the middle but will take them. Gotta at least hit the mistakes.

  10. DaveCT

    Hey Doug, or anyone. Any insight why one run against Spiers helped by Espinal’s error was not unearned?

    This is the game log:

    “Edward Olivares singles on a ground ball to third baseman Santiago Espinal. Edward Olivares to 2nd. Edward Olivares advances to 2nd, on a throwing error by third baseman Santiago Espinal.”

    Strikeout.

    Fly out.

    “Andrew McCutchen singles on a ground ball to third baseman Santiago Espinal. Edward Olivares to 3rd.”

    “Bryan Reynolds singles on a line drive to right fielder Levi Jordan. Edward Olivares scores. Andrew McCutchen to 3rd.”

    Is the assumption that Oliveres goes to third on McCutchen’s infield hit and scores on the Reynolds hit?

    Or that Oliveres scores from 2B (where McCutchen does not)?

    • Oldtimer

      I think because Espinal’s throwing error would not have been the third out.

    • Oldtimer

      I think because Espinal’s throwing error would not have been the third out.

      • MK

        Esponal’s error was not considered an out because Oliveras was credited with a hit which he would not have been if he had reached on an outable error. He just moved up on the error. The assumption by the scorekeeper was he would have scored from first on the action in the rest of the inning. Obviously not a homer by the scorekeeper.

  11. Mauired

    Can anybody recall someone else hitting a homerun on top of the steamboat?

    • Redlegs1869

      Adam Dunn? He hit one over it and out of the park I think.

      • Mauired

        That was a bomb. 20 years ago and the longest homer in stadium history. But also before the steamboat added to the ballpark.

    • Frostgiant

      Todd Frazier went in the boat I am pretty sure.

    • Laredo Slider

      John Smoltz said in a recent broadcast that Adam Dunn hit one on the roof of the boat off him(Smoltz).

    • MK

      At Rickwood Stadium the other night Reggie Jackson had a good comment on the subject of tape measure homers. Basically you don’t get extra points for any extra feet once it goes over the fence.

      • Matt WI

        Well, while of course there is no run advantage to tape measure shots, I think it’s possible they add an aura to a guy psychologically for pitchers. That’s basically baseball’s version of getting “posterized” and nobody wants that. For great pitchers, that won’t matter, but some guys might make another mistake, or give up an advantageous BB b/c they know what a masher is capable of.

      • DHud

        Balls that clear the wall by inches have a chance to be caught

        Balls that got 420 ft have zero chance to be caught

        Counts more, no. But I know which is more better still.

      • MK

        You know I think they have gotten the call wrong over the years. In rule 5 of MLB rules it states a fairl hit ball that travels over the fence or into the seats at least 250’ from home plate is a home run. To me this means once it goes over the fence the ball is dead and it is a home run. There is nothing in the rule book about going over the fence and catching it, negating the run.

  12. Redlegs1869

    Yeah, you’re right. Maybe EDLC is first to hit one on it.

  13. Jim Walker

    This was an outstanding team wide effort. Now let’s hope they make it really count by winning at least 1 and hopefully both of the 2 remaining games of the series.

    • Redsvol

      A week ago, I think he was likey to be sent down. With Friedl injury, now I doubt it. We just don’t have any center field depth in entire organization.

      Once Dunn comes back from injury, I’d say bensons days are numbered. Hurtibese could also be an option but they don’t appear to trust him in centerfield. We’re going to really be counting on Fairchild till the all star break. Good opportunity for him.

      • Melvin

        Soto and Jordan both have played CF a game or two out there. I’d rather give them a shot rather than see Benson do what he’s doing. One interesting stat on Hurtubise that surprised me. According to baseballsavant.com there’s only two players on the active roster that are slower this year (Stephenson and Maile). I haven’t found sprint speeds yet for Soto and Jordan.

    • redfanorbust

      Count me as one of the extremely shocked fans if the Reds somehow manage to land him. Krall would have to decide to give up on the farm system and it’s depth that has come in so handy with our multitude of injuries not to mention take on the risk of Luis Jr’s many trips to the IL as well. They would have to meet the over the top demands of Chris Getz as well as outbid all of the other teams who are going after him. IMO Krall will stay this course, hope to get Friedl and McLain back this year, make some kind of a run at a wild card and pray that next year brings much, much, better luck on the injury front.

      • Melvin

        In speaking of Robert I’m still not convinced, with his injury history and the way he’s hitting this year, that it will cost as much as we might think.

        Rooker would also possibly be an upgrade and may not cost as much.

  14. TR

    A good pitching matchup tonight. The Reds need to start winning series with the halfway point of the season at hand.

  15. Indy Red Man

    India is playing well this season and I look Jordan’s oppo swing. That would work in Gabp. I think there are too many teams going for that last playoff spot, but the Reds finish the 1st half with a winnable 10 game homestand that could put them a few games over .500 in theory.

  16. Old-school

    Entertaining baseball game for sure. Maybe old friend GABP in the summer can wake up this offense. Kudos to Spiers, Steer, Elly.Jordan etc.

    Reds and their fans needed this one.

    Shout out to my guy Jon India. Injuries have given him an opportunity to play every day and now back to leadoff. India is tearing it up in June.

    India for the season:
    .258/.363/.369/.732 FWAR 1.3. B WAR 0.9

    12.8 % walk rate and 20.8% K rate

    OPS + 107

    JUNE:
    .343./.415/.500/.915. OPS + 155

    See what India/Elly/Candy/Steer and TS can do for this offense every day hitting 1-5. Next step is get Fraley power back.

    • DHud

      About everyone but Candy and Elly could use some power back

      Lineup could be so dangerous…but I really think they’ve played closer to their collective floor than ceiling so far

  17. Redsgettingbetter

    The Reds won the opener game again, now they have another nice chance to win the series only to take one of the two games remaining. On Tuesday’s match the Pirates will send Keller to the mound against Greene in the same duel saw last Wednesday at Pittsburgh. Let’s see…
    Levi Jordan had a nice debut expecting Soto could be making it soon as Marte too…
    India is hot now, he is hitting above .250 BA and .730 OPS looking as solid numbers if we considered how he was 1 month ago..
    Spiers is earning another shot as starter after this quality outing.
    I still trying to understand why Bell brought in Fernando Cruz in a 11-3 game and asking him to throw 25 pitches so it’s likely he’s unavailable on Tuesday

      • Melvin

        I still believe that besides needing some offensive help, the Reds could use another backend reliever. They most likely won’t trade for one, if at all, until they bring up Santillan to see if he’s just as good or better than someone they’d trade for. As to if/when they’ll do that your guess is as good as mine.

      • Melvin

        From Doug’s Minor League Report a couple of days ago:

        “Tony Santillan walked two batters and gave up two runs against Nashville on June 7th. Since then he’s pitched in five games, thrown 5.0 shutout innings, walked no one, and he’s struck out 10 batters.”

        14 saves now

      • Jim Walker

        RE: Fernando Cruz pitching when the Reds had a big lead…..

        I had drifted away (from the Reds stream on my tablet) to whatever was being streamed on the main TV and was also surprised when I later read about Cruz’s use.

        I’d guess it was because Suter had thrown 39 pitches on Sunday with Farmer and Martinez throwing 15 and 10 respectively in that game also.

        Sims throwing 17 on Monday likely puts him on the bubble for Tuesday also. They would need to spot either of those guys deep in an inning where they could be used for just 1 out and be done because it ended the inning

      • Melvin

        Seemed like a perfect situation then to leave Sims in for a couple of innings and save Cruz.

  18. DHud

    Zero chance that ball was only 430ft

    Always thought HR distance estimates were cracked

  19. JB

    So does Elly have to hit the sign to win the truck or can he just hit the truck?

    • Mark Moore

      That’s been debated before. The “rule” says the sign. Hitting the truck itself would be a MASSIVE blast.

      • DHud

        Remember when Winker hit the PADDING *around* the sign and Toyota tried to balk on paying out??

        I ‘member

    • Melvin

      If he hits the truck Big Bob will make him pay for the damages. “That’s coming out of your pay young man. I’M not paying for it”. 😀

    • redfanorbust

      Hitting either as far as I can tell the average temperature in h-e double hockey sticks would have to be minus 500 degrees.

  20. Mike McSorley

    The Rodney Dangerfield of the trade deadline… always interested in articles detailing available talent as the trade deadline approaches. Most intrigued by possible destinations. In several of the latest articles none mention the Reds as potential destination for any of these “game changers.”
    I feel hurt, ignored, annoyed… but also uncomfortably realistic about how the Reds operate. Nuts…

  21. Mark Moore

    Fun win and we’ll overlook a few warts (and the heartburn from the final innings). Great game from Elly, Jon, Spencer, and Levi with some solid contributions from Stewie and Luke. Spiers settled in to a solid outing which is what we need from SP’s.

    Onward to the contest tonight. Hoping our same team shows up.

    • redfanorbust

      and hoping the Pirates continue to throw slow fat pitches down the middle….

  22. KYRedLegs

    The Reds should think about batting Levi Jordan lead off against righties while Friedl is injured. He has smacked righties at Louisville this year (.404 OBP) and doubled in his sole AB against a righty last night. It would be a good opportunity for both parties, I think.

    • Jim Walker

      Ah, we just escaped having 3 catchers after one day before they could get dialed in on it 😉

      That has to be one of the more curious situations in some while. Stephenson must have been unavailable to catch on Friday but by Sunday was back to good enough to go.

      Presuming Marte is brought up versus being optioned to AAA come Thursday, I wonder what the odds are between whether it is Livan Soto or Levi Jordan who goes from the 26 man roster, not to mention with Jordan added to the 40 man roster to be called up, somebody has to go off the 40 man for Marte even if he stays at AAA on option.

      • Melvin

        I’d say Burdick goes off the 40 man.

        Not saying we should carry three catchers. lol

        Benson HAS to go down. Ridiculous to keep him up if we want to win.

      • LDS

        I agree, send Benson down. Comparing Cleveland’s record with the Reds, I’m starting to think they knew something that the Reds FO didn’t figure out.

      • Jim Walker

        @Melvin>>> Why not do what the NHL does with goalies and require the home team to have an emergency catcher on site who is available to suit for up for either team that needs a 3rd catcher. Restrict it to medical emergencies and require the pitcher to serve as the hitter in the catcher’s previous lineup spot 😉 😉

      • Melvin

        If you can get that done Jim go for it. 😉

    • MBS

      I like Diaz as an option, but isn’t he on the IL? I also like Jansen from TOR, he’s also a FA at the end of the season. Jansen especially would be nice if we could extend him for 3 or 4 years.

      I’m ok with 3 C’s with our current roster. Right now, we have 2 back up middle infielders in ESPY, and Soto. We really only need one of them. A 3rd C would allow Stephenson to DH, keeping his bat in the lineup more.

      • Melvin

        I’d like to see Soto and his .300 ave. get a shot like Jordan before they send him down. Espinal does have options too.

      • Melvin

        I guess I don’t worry so much about the rare occasion of losing the DH in the middle of the game if Stephenson has to catch. At least it’s not worth it to me to carry three catchers.

      • MBS

        @Melvin, I don’t worry about those rare occasions either, but managers do. It free them up more than us fans.

        Diaz .791 OPS 1.5 WAR
        Jansen .728 OPS, 1.2 WAR
        Stephenson .716 OPS 1.1 WAR
        Maile .608 OPS 0.3 WAR

        If we got either of these guys, they are good hitters, and would be a big improvement for the club. I like Maile, but these other 2 produce similar numbers to Stephenson.

        Maybe Maile catches Montas, the other 2 catch 2 a piece, and DH/1B when not catching. The more AB’s these guys are taking the less for the bottom of the bench.

        I’m still wanting a big impact bat, but these deals should be fairly cheap prospect wise in comparison. Kinda like getting Moll last year instead of a Closer or Starter.

      • Melvin

        Yes these guys would probably be a cheap upgrade. I think one thing we need to remember is that Candelario really should be the primary DH so Stephenson may not get there as often as we would like. Still at least having a better backup catcher bat would give us a better option off the bench late in the game or whenever.

      • MBS

        “Candelario really should be the primary DH“

        Once Marte is back that’s probably true.

        I’d go

        DH Steph, C Jansen, 1B Steer
        2B India, 3B Candy, SS EDLC
        RF Fraley, CF Fair, LF Benson

        Maile, Soto/Espy
        Jordan, Martini

        Geez look how said that bench is even after adding a MLB hitter to the roster. Hopefully Friedl won’t be out long, and Marte starts swinging a good bat. It’s why we really need to sign not only a guy like Diaz, or Jansen, but a real impact bat too.

      • MBS

        How sad, not “said”. IDK how that one happened

    • Old Big Ed

      I think the Reds are very happy with Maile’s defense and game calling, and I don’t see them trading for a different back-up catcher. Maile has slashed .292/.393/.458 in June, and knows this pitching staff very well.

      I’ve thought all year that Fraley and Benson play the same position: they are LH-hitting rightfielders who struggle against LH-pitching. The principal reason not to demote Benson is that it would leave Fairchild as the team’s only center fielder, and he has a .362 OPS this season against RH pitching. Therefore, they are not going to demote Benson, UNLESS … they have something in the works for Luis Robert. (I think the White Sox are going to want to field a lot of offers on Robert before pulling the trigger on a trade.)

      Robert is the one available guy who could put the Reds over the top. Still only 26, he hit 38 homers and had an OPS of .857 last season. He’s still trying to get untracked this season after an injury, but has been very good over his last 5 games.

  23. Roger Garrett

    Great win last night.Reds didn’t lose any possible runs on the bases,put the ball in play and made the routine plays and a couple of really good ones on defense.Spiers went 6 and although the pen was a little shaky and not sure just why Cruz was used in a blow out this was a game that highlights just how the Reds have to play to win games.Not going to score 11 every night but the other things I mentioned can win games also so lets see if they can support Hunter tonight and he can go deep to give the pen a break.GO REDS

  24. MBS

    I could see Spiers as a part of our rotation. I also could see him in Martinez’s role as the swingman going forward. It will be interesting to see what the Reds do when Ashcraft returns.

    • Optimist

      Unlike the hitting side of the roster, the pitching staff is filling up with some interesting 26-man roster decisions. Spiers is playing himself out of a AAAA role and into a bullpen piece or better. Ashcraft certainly returns sooner rather than later, and they still have Gibaut, Young, Legumina, Santillan et. al. doing fairly well or improving. While the top prospects are struggling and not pushing into imminent MLB spots, this off season they will have some tough choices just in the numbers at AAA.

      Still expect at least one, and perhaps all, of Farmer/Wilson/Sims to get moved at the deadline – each is a FA, and there will certainly be teams willing to take chances on proven, if faltering, MLB arms. Even good low-level prospects would be a fine return.

      When was the last time the Reds had pitching to trade at the deadline?

      • Roger Garrett

        Not in along time have the Reds had arms to trade.I hope there are teams that will take a couple along with a mid level prospect or two and trade us a right handed hitting outfielder with some pop.Like Thomas In Washington for example.I can dream

  25. RedlegScott

    I, too, wondered why Bell called on Cruz. Someone posted that Bell has these decisions scripted before game. First Spiers, then Cruz. Is that possible? If so, when does scripting give way to reason? Why run Cruz into the ground?

    • redfanorbust

      I would guess to give him some work in low leverage situations. In June he pitched on the 1,4,5,6,8,11,14,18,19,21,24 for a total of 9 innings. I am not sure he is being overused at least not in June.

      • RedlegScott

        Melvin has a link above suggesting he is being overused.

    • Roger Garrett

      I am guilty of the script call and to be honest I don’t know if he does script his relievers.What I do know is that he knows who is available to pitch based on when they last pitched and how many pitches they threw and he uses other metrics as well I am sure.I have given Bell props for making good calls with his pen regarding who and when and for how long they pitch but Cruz yesterday in a blow out was strange to me.Cruz has appeared in more games then any other pen guy by far.Last I looked he had appeared in 6 more games then any other pitcher out of the pen and was on pace to exceed his all time high of appearance and innings by a long ways.No doubt he is the nastiest guy in the pen and has been called on to get us out of big spots and i believe he has 15 or 16 holds if that stat means anything.Again I have no data to support this but I assume he was available to pitch and he pitched.Don’t know if Buck was or Sam Moll was or Martinez was and they may not have been.My concern is that his services are better used in close games vs blow outs.Doubt he will be used tonight unless its for one batter in a tight spot after throwing 25 pitches last night.To be honest I would have rather seen anybody including Diaz last night instead of Cruz cause his value to this team is greater IMO

  26. Redgoggles

    Cruz was warming up in the 5th when the Rats scored 2 and were threatening more. Am guessing that’s why Bell went ahead and used him since he was probably already hot.

    • Old Big Ed

      Cruz is 34 and has a history of pitching about 70 innings over many years, plus regular winter league play. Any pitcher can get hurt at any time, but his history suggests that they are not overusing him.

      Yet.