On Sunday, April 29, in their 28th game of the 2018 season, the Cincinnati Reds clinched their first series win of the season with a 8-2 win over the Minnesota Twins in Minnesota. The win came two days after the team’s 15-run, 20-hit outburst on Friday, and gave the Reds four wins in their last seven games after winning just three of their first 21.
This was a good week. Joey Votto homered in four straight games, Tyler Mahle posted two terrific starts, Jose Peraza and Alex Blandino both built substantial hitting streaks, and Scott Schebler and Eugenio Suarez both returned to the lineup after missing extended time with injuries. The Reds may still be 7-21, but they just had a very, very good week.
Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Mahle, for a second straight time out, was fantastic. He logged 6.1 innings and allowed just one run on four hits, walked two and struck out seven. All of this came one start after Mahle took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday. The Reds hit a lot today, and that’s important, but a 23-year-old posting back-to-back starts like this one deserves to be recognized. He gets the honor today.
Honorable mentions go to Jose Peraza, who went 3-for-5 with an RBI to extend his hit streak to seven games; Joey Votto, who singled and walked twice; Eugenio Suarez, who went 2-for-5 with a double and two ribbies; Scott Schebler, who went 1-for-5 with two ribbies, and Alex Blandino, who singled to stretch his hit streak to seven games.
- Peraza got the Reds going in the top of the first inning with a hard-hit single to left, and advanced to second base on a four pitch walk to Votto. Two batters later, Suarez ripped a double to left, scoring Peraza and giving Cincinnati a 1-0 lead.
- After a 1-2-3 bottom of the first by Mahle, the Reds went right back to work. Tucker Barnhart drew a one-out walk, and was erased on the bases on a groundout by Blandino. Blandino would then score on a two-out double by Jesse Winker, and the Reds’ lead was 2-0.
- The Reds loaded the bases with none out in the third inning on a single by Votto, a double by Scooter Gennett and a walk by Suarez. Some small ball got the job done from there, as Schebler and Adam Duvall each grounded out to force home runs, and the Reds led 4-0.
- Twins starter Jose Berrios’ day was done after three innings, but that wasn’t enough to stop the Reds’ scoring efforts. Blandino singled to start the inning against reliever Taylor Rogers, the first of three straight hits put together by he, Winker and Peraza. After two outs were made, the Twins brought in former Reds arm Matt Magill on the mound, and he gave up two more hits to Suarez and Schebler that scored runs. The Reds led 7-0.
- Mahle got into trouble for the first time in the bottom of the sixth, allowing a leadoff double to Jason Castro. Joe Mauer singled home Castro two batters later, but that was it against Mahle in the sixth. Reds still led 7-1.
- Adam Duvall liked the seven-run lead better than the six-run lead. He homered to left to lead off the seventh. Reds lead 8-1.
- Castro’s second double of the day scored Logan Morrison in the ninth, but whatever. Reds won 8-2.
- This is a bummer of a fun fact: If the Reds somehow played .500 baseball for the rest of the season, they would still finish 74-88.
- Another bummer: Nick Senzel was scratched from the lineup today in Louisville after leaving the game with a wrist injury last night. That’s certainly not good news, but the fact that him playing today was even being seriously considered is a positive sign for how serious that injury appears to be.
- Here’s some funner facts: Jose Peraza is hitting .467/.484/.667 during his seven-game hit streak, and Alex Blandino is hitting .385/.407/.385 during his.
- The Reds will head back home to face Milwaukee on Monday, with Brandon Finnegan facing off against Jhoulys Chacin at 7:10 p.m. EST.