The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
On a piping hot day a mile above sea level, Sal Romano returned to the big league mound for the Cincinnati Reds for the first time since his big league debut in mid April. And unlike so many of the young starters the Reds have tasked with starting games this year - his debut included - Sal looked both confident and comfortable on the mound.
In 5 innings, he held the Colorado Rockies offense largely in check, allowing just 2 ER on 6 hits and a lone walk. He struck out 6 in the process, getting repeated swings and misses on his 97 mph fastball and a slider that was moving plenty and hitting spots.
It’s obvious that Sal’s arm is plenty talented enough to cut it in the bigs, and today was a great step towards seeing that happen on a more frequent basis. Congrats, Sal, and have yourself a trophy.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Scooter Gennett, who walked twice, doubled, and scored twice; Adam Duvall, who dingered and doubled; Joey Votto, who walked twice and singled in a run; Eugenio Suarez, who had a pair of singles, a double, and scored a run; Scott Schebler, who also had a pair of hits (one an RBI double); and both Wandy Peralta and Michael Lorenzen, each of whom fired a scoreless, hitless inning of relief.
- Hamilton led off the game with a triple off the outstretched glove of Carlos Gonzalez in deep RF, and for a minute it looked as if he’d turn it into an inside the park dinger. Billy Hatcher held him at 3B, however, but Votto then knocked a single into CF to plate the run anyway. Reds led early, 1-0.
- Gennett appeared to have made a stellar 4-3 double play with a tag of Mark Reynolds at 2B, but Reynolds was ruled safe (and there wasn’t enough video evidence for Bryan Price to challenge it). That burned, as it would’ve ended the inning, and Trevor Story then plated Reynolds with an RBI single to tie the game, 1-1.
- Scooter began the Top of the 3rd with a ground-rule double that bounced over the CF wall, and he later scored on a line-drive single up the middle off the bat of Suarez. Reds led, 2-1.
- The Reds added another run in the Top of the 5th, as Gennett coaxed a walk and later scored on Adam Duvall’s double off the wall in right-center. Reds led, 3-1.
- Tony Wolters inched the Rockies closer in the Bottom of the 5th, doubling into RF to score Trevor Story (who had reached on a bunt single in front of him). Reds led, 3-2.
- Scott Oberg took over for the Top of the 8th, and the Cincinnati bats proceeded to FordhamRam most every pitch he threw. Duvall donked a solo dinger over the RF wall, and Suarez later singled and scored on Schebler’s cracked double. Schebler then scored on Cozart’s pinch-hit double into the LF corner, and the Reds held a 6-2 lead.
- Raimel Tapia doubled down the 1B line off Raisel Iglesias with 1-out in the Bottom of the 8th, and took 3B when Schebler booted fielding it. Tapia tagged and scored on a sac fly a batter later, and the Reds lead was cut to 6-3.
- Iglesias, however, held down the fort, and the Reds walked away winners, 6-3.
- Duvall’s dinger brought the total number of Reds with more than 20 dingers to three, only the second such time in team history that’s happened before the All Star break. According to FS-Ohio’s broadcast, the only other time came in 1970, when each of Tony Perez, Johnny Bench, and Lee May crossed that mark. Good company for Duvall, Votto, and Scott Schebler to be in.
- The Reds will head wester-er Thursday night, and on Friday they’ll begin the final series before the All Star break in Phoenix against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Tim Adleman will get the start in the first game of the series, where he’ll be opposed by DBacks ace Zack Greinke. First pitch Friday is set for 9:40 PM ET, because MLB wants you to sleep ‘til noon on Saturday.
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