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Joey's Bat, Phillips' Blast Take Down White Sox

The Reds continue their hot streaks on the backs of strong performances from Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

While the upcoming season for the Cincinnati Reds looks bleak, there will still be a few things to cheer about. Joey Votto has spent this spring trying his hardest to make sure that he is one of those things. Our favorite first baseman turned in another Votto-like performance against the Chicago White Sox today, going 4-4 on four singles, driving in two runs, raising his spring batting average to .440. He also made a nifty play over at first base, to boot. The 2016 season will probably be frustrating, and it will certainly have it's share of losing, but us Reds fans can have joy in the fact that we get to watch one of the best hitters on the planet play for our favorite team. Have another trophy, Joey. Soon we'll be naming them after you.

Honorable mentions go to: Josh Smith, who got called up for a spot start and made the most of his opportunity. He went 5 innigs, giving up one hit, one run, one walk and striking out six; Brandon Phillips, who went 3-5 with a 2-run home run to start the scoring for the Reds; Billy Hamilton for going 2-5 and hitting his second triple of the Spring; and Jose Peraza, who went 2-3 with 1 RBI and also added his second Spring triple.

Key Plays

  • Not much happened until the bottom of the third inning. Jose Peraza led off with a single, and was promptly picked off on a steal attempt. Joey Votto worked a full count before hitting a liner to center field for his second hit of the game. He might has well have kept on running, because Brandon Phillips would promptly drive him in with a dinger to deep left field. Reds lead, 2-0.
  • Josh Smith didn't give up a hit through his first three innings of work. He was looking good in the fourth, until Tyler Saladino mashed a solo home run to left field. Reds lead, 2-1.
  • In the bottom of the fourth, Billy Hamilton led off with a shot do deep center that resulted in a triple. Not wanting to be left out, Jose Peraza went down and got one out of the dirt and hit one just out of the reach of the right fielder for a triple of his own to bring in Billy. Joey Votto decided he wanted to continue the hit party, and slapped a line drive past second base for his third hit of the afternoon. Reds lead, 4-1.
  • J.J. Hoover would replace Smith in the top of the 6th, and things did not start well. Tim Anderson led off with a line drive single to right, then advanced to third on a well-executed hit-and-run by J.B. Shuck. Anderson would then come around to score on an error by base hit to Jose Peraza. Two consecutive groundouts would advance the runners, and Shuck would eventually score on the second groundout. Hoover's night would be over after only .2 IP. Reds lead, 4-3.
  • Billy Hamilton would lead off the bottom of the 6th with a bloop double just inside the right field line. After a sac bunt by Peraza (why?), Joey Votto would smack a line drive to left field for his fourth hit and second RBI of the night.  Votto would advance to second on a Brandon Phillips single, and would then come around to score after Eugenio Suarez smoked a line drive to center for an RBI single. Reds lead, 6-3.
  • The Reds and White Sox would both be kept at bay the rest of the afternoon. Reds win, 6-3.

Other notes

  • In case you missed it earlier, the Reds made a few roster moves this afternoon, getting us closer to our opening day roster. There are still 35 guys left in camp, so stay tuned for the next couple of days for more roster decisions
  • The Reds play their last game in Goodyear tomorrow against the Cleveland Indians. First pitch is slotted for 3:05 PM EST with Cody Reed getting the nod for the Reds.
  • Votto Tunes