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Reds break out the big bats, beat Braves 8-4

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Reds offense supports a solid Marquis start to win their first Saturday game

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Jay Bruce is warming up into May Bruce, as he struck two triples on the game tonight, driving in two runs and scoring one of his own. A hot streak from Bruce, which was missing from all of 2014, will likely not be enough on its own to power the Reds to postseason glory. But still, when he’s on, there are few players more fun to watch swing the bat. So here’s hoping for an extended hot streak from the Reds slugging right fielder.

Honorable mentions are due to a few of Red Reporter’s favorites: Jason Marquis for holding the Braves hitless for the first four innings and finishing with four strikeouts, two walks, five hits and three earned runs over six and a third innings pitched, and Marlon Byrd for a single, a walk, a home run and a great catch to take a hit away from A.J. Pierzynski.  Also Zack Cozart added two hits including a two run home run.

Key Plays

  • With two outs in the top of the fourth inning, Bruce tripled to center field on a ball that was badly misplayed by Kelly Johnson. One batter later, Brandon Phillips drove Bruce in with a single that Andrelton Simmons was able to knock down, but unable to make a play on. Reds lead 1-0.

  • In the same inning, Phillips stole second and, after a Byrd walk, Brayan Pena singled to center to score Phillips. Reds lead 2-0.

  • In the fifth inning, after a quick Billy Hamilton out, Cozart and Joey Votto singled back to back. Todd Frazier then flew out, but Bruce tripled for the second time in this game, driving in two runs. Reds lead 4-0.

  • In the bottom of the fifth inning, Simmons got the Braves' first hit of the game, an infield single off the glove of Marquis. Two batters later, Cameron Maybin homered to left center field to get the Braves on the board. Reds lead 4-2.

  • In the top of the sixth, Byrd got one of those runs back with a leadoff home run. Reds lead 5-2.

  • An inning later, Frazier got the other of those runs back with a solo home run of his own. Reds lead 6-2 at stretch time.

  • In the bottom of the inning, Johnson reached on a leadoff single, and Simmons drove him in with a long double along the right field line. Reds lead 6-3. Jace Peterson then reached on a single due to a batted ball that hit Simmons off second base. Simmons was out, Peterson was on first, and Marquis was removed from the game.

  • Bullpen time! Jumbo Diaz faced two batters, striking out Maybin and allowing a pinch hit single to Phil Gosselin. Bryan Price then double switched Tony Cingrani into the game, replacing Bruce with Brennan Boesch. Cingrani struck out Nick Markakis to end the seventh inning, and then pitched a miraculously clean eighth inning.

  • In the top of the ninth, Boesch drew a walk, then Cozart put the game out of reach with a two run homer off of Donnie "Ann" Veal.  Reds lead 8-3.
  • Since the game was no longer a save situation, Kevin Gregg came in to pitch the ninth.  Gregg allowed a run on a walk and a hit, but ultimately survived the inning for the Reds win.

Fangraph:

<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2015-05-02&team=Braves&dh=0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width = "450" style="border:1px solid black;"></iframe><br /><span style="font-size:9pt;">Source: <a href="http://www.fangraphs.com/livewins.aspx?date=2015-05-02&team=Braves&dh=0&season=2015">FanGraphs</a></span>

Other Notes:

  • This was the first Reds win on a Saturday this season.
  • In the bottom of the second inning, Jason Marquis was struck on the right forearm by a come backer off the bat of Kelly Johnson. He was checked out by the training staff but remained in the game, although he had a pretty nasty visible welt on his arm.

  • This was Bruce’s first ever multi-triple game, and the first multi-triple game for any Red since Dimitri Young accomplished the feat in 2000.

  • <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">No team in the era in which caught stealing info has been recorded (since 1951) swiped 29 of their first 30 attempts until the Reds in 2015.</p>&mdash; Reds Media Relations (@RedsPR) <a href="https://twitter.com/RedsPR/status/594656125213114370">May 3, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

  • Tomorrow the Reds go for the series win, sending Johnny Cueto to the mound, as the Braves go for the series split, sending Julio Tehran to the mound.
  • Tunes!