The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Sal Romano’s second start of the second half of the season went infinitely better than his first outing, to say the least. On Sunday against the Miami Marlins, the Cincinnati Reds got 6 strong innings from the latest rookie to toe the rubber, with just 3 hits and a lone earned run allowed from Sal.
Romano allowed a lone walk, fanned 7, and breezed through the heart of Miami’s lineup in order in his final inning of the day, wrapping a 98 pitch outing that was ripe with promise. The guy’s electric fastball can routinely hit 98 mph, and if he can find a way to improve his change-up to pair with an already decent slider, there just might be enough in his repertoire to stick as a starter after all.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Billy Hamilton, who had a 3-hit day, stole bags 42 and 43, and scored a run; Eugenio Suarez, Tucker Barnhart, and Scooter Gennett, each of whom socked solo dingers (with Gennett adding an RBI single, too); Raisel Iglesias, who threw rocks for another 2-inning save; and Zack Cozart, who singled, scored, and walked twice in what might well be his final home game in GABP.
- The Reds got on the board first in this one, getting a run off Marlins starter Tom Koehler in the Bottom of the 2nd. Scott Schebler was hit by a breaking ball with 1-out, and he moved over to 2B on Tucker Barnhart’s walk. A sac-bunt from Romano moved the batters over a bag, and Schebler then scored on Hamilton’s RBI single into RF. Barnhart was thrown out at the plate by Giancarlo Stanton, but the Reds led, 1-0.
- It’s not officially a Reds game unless the other team socks a dinger. Well, AJ Ellis took care of that when he took Romano deep for a solo shot in the Top of the 4th, tying the game 1-1.
- Scooter got that run back for the Reds in the Bottom of the 4th, however, by sneaking a solo wall-scraper over Stanton’s head and barely into the LF seats. Reds led, 2-1.
- Cincinnati added another pair of runs off Koehler in the Bottom of the 5th, with Koehler himself helping them out. After Hamilton poked a 1-out single into RF, he stole 2B and then 3B on the ball-four pitch to Cozart. That left runners at the corners for Joey Votto, whose grounder up the middle was fielded by Koehler. Koehler, however, tried to nail Cozart at 2B to start a double play, but threw the ball into CF to allow Billy to score and keep all runners safe. After Duvall popped out, Scooter then singled into shallow RF to score Cozy, though Votto was nailed trying to take 3B. Reds led, 4-1.
- Suarez played add-on in the Bottom of the 6th with a moonball solo homer into the first row of the LF seats, one that took about a half-hour to finally land. Two batters later, Barnhart did, too, this time with a smash into the seats in left-center. Reds led, 6-1.
- With Romano out, Michael Lorenzen took over for the Top of the 7th, and things did not go so well. Ellis doubled and scored on a later single by Miguel Rojas, and Rojas later scored after moving to 2B on a productive grounder when Marcell Ozuna singled up the middle to score him. Reds led, 6-3.
- After that, Iglesias took over, and when Iglesias takes over, the other team goes poof. Such was the case Sunday, and the Reds held on to win, 6-3.
- Today marked the final home game for the Reds prior to the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline. It also marked one of the few times in recent memory where Zack Cozart got a start in a day game after playing the night before. I have a hard time imagining that’s merely a coincidence.
- Joey Votto has clearly been slumping since the second half of the season began. He did, however, pick up his 69th RBI of the season today.
- With this particular 10 game homestand in the books, the Reds will now hit the road for 10 games. First up is a make-up game in Cleveland on Monday evening, where Tim Adleman and Josh Tomlin will get starts for their respective clubs. The game is scheduled to start at 7:10 PM ET, after which the Reds will head to New York for a pair of games against the Yankees.