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Scooter homers, Reds outduel Dodgers for 4-1 victory

That’s a 3-game win streak!

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles Dodgers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Scooter Gennett dingered in a 3rd consecutive game for the first time in his big league career, and that helped spearhead a resilient Cincinnati Reds offense on a night when things could’ve been much worse, much earlier.

Gennett added both a double and a single on the night, and he drove in 3 runs for good measure. That was plenty good enough for the Reds to down the Los Angeles Dodgers in this series opener.

Honorable Mentions are due to: Tyler Mahle, who didn’t allow a single earned run in his 5 IP (and we’ll get to that later); Wandy Peralta, who fired 1.2 scoreless innings; Billy Hamilton, who tripled and scored; Dylan Floro, who again threw a scoreless inning of relief; and Raisel Iglesias, who was electric in his 1.2 IP save, fanning 4 of the 5 batters he faced.

Key Plays

  • The Reds were trailing after the 1st inning. Sound familiar? In the opening frame’s bottom half, Mahle seemed to be nibbling a bit. He walked a pair while missing just outside the zone, but it was a Joey Votto fielding error on a would-be double play ball that really hurt. That combo of badness loaded the bases and helped push Mahle’s pitch-count above 30 for the Bottom of the 1st, and Chase Utley’s RBI single into CF put the Reds behind early, 1-0.
  • Cincinnati bats finally got to Walker Buehler in the Top of the 6th, and it was the first half of the order doing much of the work. Winker poked a single into LF with 1-out to get the rally going, and he moved up a bag on Votto’s single into RF two batters later. Both runners then scored on Gennett’s 2-ribbie double to the wall in CF, and the Reds had themselves a 2-1 lead.
  • After Tucker Barnhart roped a double off Pedro Baez in the Top of the 7th, he came around to score on Billy’s triple to the corner in RF a few batters later. Reds led, 3-1.
  • Scooter thumped Daniel Hudson for a solo dinger in the Top of the 8th, a rip that easily cleared the RF wall. Reds led, 4-1, and that’s how things would end.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Tyler Mahle’s final line doesn’t really tell the full story of how he pitched tonight. He needed 109 pitches to get through just 5 IP, allowing 3 hits and 4 walks against just 2 Ks. However, Votto twice misplayed balls defensively that cost him both outs and perhaps as many as 25 total pitches, and the strike zone tonight was incredibly questionable. Mahle then managed to pitch his way out of bases-loaded situations twice in the early going, which proved to be huge once the 2-out offense showed up for the Reds later on. He still looked every bit as “Tyler Mahle” as he’s looked in recent starts, and lowered his season ERA to a microscopic-as-Reds-pitching-goes 3.86.
  • Adam Duvall went 0 for 4 with 3 Ks. Even after his walk-off dinger on Thursday, he’s ‘hitting’ .171/.254/.382 while still playing almost every single day, which simply cannot continue.
  • New Reds pitcher Matt Harvey joined the team when they got to Los Angeles, and was introduced to the media today. He was also told he’ll be starting Friday’s game against the Dodgers, with Brandon Finnegan being optioned to AAA to free up a spot both on the roster and in the rotation. Getting him on the mound on Friday will also ensure he’ll be on regular rest to start the final game of the upcoming series in San Francisco - meaning Harvey will get two showcase starts in pitcher’s parks to help improve his trade value league-wide.
  • Speaking of tomorrow’s game, it’s also set for a 10:10 PM ET start, so be sure to tune in for some #LateNightReds. The Dodgers will send Kenta Maeda to the mound against Harvey.
  • Tunes.