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Jesse Winker homers again, backs Robert Stephenson to lead Reds past Pirates 5-2

The youth movement was on full display in Wednesday’s win.

Cincinnati Reds v Miami Marlins
What Bob Steve’s pitches looked like to Pirates’ hitters on Wednesday.
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Robert Stephenson was fresh off an outing in which he’d walked 7 Miami Marlins in just 4.1 innings for the Cincinnati Reds. In fact, over his last two starts since being recalled, he’d yielded 12 hits, 9 walks, and 8 earned runs in his 9.2 IP, though there had at least been a glimpse here and there of redeemable quality from the rookie sprinkled within.

Well, the good aspects shined brightly for Bob Steve on Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, as he exited after 5.2 IP having allowed nary a run, just 3 hits, and only a pair of walks in his time on the mound. And while an inherited runner did score, that did nothing to diminish how solid his outing was on the whole. He was pulled due to the situation in a close game - he’d thrown just 81 pitches at that time - which emphasized that he’d been pitch-efficient to that point, something he’s also struggled with at times in his young career.

All told, it was a great step in the right direction, and one he’ll look to build on as the season winds down.

Honorable Mentions are due to: Jesse Winker, who socked another homer as part of his 2 hit, 2 run scored day (and made another fabulous catch in RF); Adam Duvall, who homered and added a sac-fly in his 3 ribbie evening; Joey Votto, who singled, doubled, and scored; Eugenio Suarez, who went 2 for 3 with a walk; Raisel Iglesias, who fired 2 innings of scoreless ball for the save; and Tucker Barnhart, who walked thrice (!!) and drove in a run.

Key Plays

  • Back to back singles by Winker and Votto put runners on the corners for Duvall in the Top of the 4th, and he responded by lining out deep enough into LF off Trevor Williams to bring in Winker. Reds led, 1-0.
  • Votto’s double off the wall began the Top of the 6th, and after a single by Scooter Gennett and a walk by Eugenio Suarez loaded the bases, Tucker Barnhart took a bases loaded walk off reliever Daniel Hudson to plate a run and put the Reds ahead, 2-0.
  • Stephenson exited with a runner on 2B with 2-out in the Bottom of the 6th after pitching rather excellent throughout, and Michael Lorenzen was summoned to take over. That went...not well. Lorenzen immediately allowed a single to Josh Bell that tied the game, and after Bell took 2B on the throw home, he scored on a single into RF by David Freese. Game tied, 2-2.
  • No matter, though, as Winker turned around a Joaquin Benoit meatball for a towering solo homer well into the RF bleachers in the Top of the 7th, his second dinger in as many days. Reds led, 3-2.
  • After that, the Cincinnati bullpen settled in, and a 2-run cranker by Duvall in the Top of the 9th gave the Reds enough insurance to lock down a 5-2 win for the Reds.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Before the game it was announced that Scott Schebler - who hit the 10-day DL yesterday - is dealing with a bruised rotator cuff, one that will sideline him for “a few” weeks, as The Enquirer’s Zach Buchanan reported. While that’s obviously not the greatest news on the whole, it does mean there will be regular playing time for Jesse Winker for the foreseeable future, which is good for his development.
  • The Reds will wrap this series in Pittsburgh with an evening game tomorrow, with Sal Romano on the bump opposite Pirates starter Chad Kuhl. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET.
  • Tunes.