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Reds dodge no-hit bid from Sonny Gray, defeat Oakland 2-1


David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

When a player leads all MLB rookie pitchers in at least one way of measuring WAR and then enters Spring Training as the presumptive Opening Day starter, it's tough to watch them make a season debut as late as June 10th.  That's exactly the case with Anthony DeSclafani, though, and the righty finally made his return to the big league mound for the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.  He did not disappoint.

Disco allowed just a lone earned run in his 6 IP, ducking and diving his way around 8 hits and 3 walks allowed in that time.  But he stranded runners, something the rest of the staff has failed to do in his stead, and damnit, he got the team 2/3rds of the way through a game in which they were being no-hit without letting things get completely out of hand.

So, congrats Disco, and welcome back to the top of a beleaguered pitching staff.  You've been missed.

Honorable Mentions are due to:  Adam Duvall, who banged another double and drove in a run; Brandon Phillips, who stretched his hitting streak to 13 games; Tucker Barnhart, who broke up a no-no; Blake Wood, who tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief from the bullpen; and Tony Cingrani, for saving us all.

Key Plays

  • Stephen Vogt finally put the A's on the board after Disco had scattered numerous early hits - many of them squared - courtesy of a solo dinger into the right-center stands in the Top of the 3rd.  Reds trailed, 1-0.
  • Sonny Gray carried a no-hitter into the Bottom of the 6th, with only a walk to Joey Votto the lone blemish on his ledger (and Votto was promptly retired by a Phillips double-play ball).  Fortunately, Barnhart busted that to pieces with a single to LF.
  • Cincinnati finally found their scoring ways in the Bottom of the 7th.  Phillips singled up the middle with 1-out, and he motored around to score two batters later when Duvall doubled down the LF line.  An Eugenio Suarez single followed to move Duvall to 3B, and Doovy then shuffled home on a wild pitch from Gray that went to the backstop.  Reds led, 2-1.
  • From that point on, Wood and Tony C. put the kibosh on the Oakland offense, and the Reds held on to win, 2-1!

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Billy Hamilton was placed on the 7-day concussion DL prior to the game, and it was his open roster spot that was filled when DeSclafani was officially called up.  Concussions are nothing to mess around with, and we wish Billy all the best in a calculated and speedy recovery.  It's a bummer timing-wise, too, since he has been swinging an adept bat at the plate of late.
  • The Reds continued in their drafty ways on Friday, making eight additional selections to the three from Thursday during the rounds today.  Doug Gray has a big pile of info on all the most recent selections posted, and it's worth perusing if you, like most of us, have eyes on the Reds being good again in the future.
  • Joey Votto hit two balls to the wall tonight, just missing on a would-be pair of GABP dingers.  I'll be sure to let you know if and when he hits any to the window, too.
  • Dan Straily and his stellar 3.34 ERA will take the mound for the Reds in Saturday's matchup with these A's.  Apparently, he'll be opposed by Daniel Mengden and his marvelous mustache, who will be making his big league debut.  Mengden came over to the A's in the Scott Kazmir trade last year, and the former 4th round pick from Texas A&M will look to prove his 1.39 PCL ERA with the Nashville Sounds is not an aberration.
  • Today marks 20 years that the Drive By Truckers have been kickin' around.  So, Tunes.