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Reds continue AL Central superiority, come back dramatically in the 8th to beat the White Sox, 5-3

Wins and wins on wins.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Us here at Red Reporter are pretty big fans of what Alex Blandino can do if he were given any chance to do any of it. And, I get it; it’s hard to justify getting him a lot of run right now, with what Scooter has done all season and Jose Peraza’s done this past month.

So when he stepped up in the bottom of the 8th and worked the count, battled off some pitches, and then laced a double into right field for the go ahead (2) runs, well, it put a big ole smile on our faces.

He’s got a great eye (despite being criticized by certain media members of the Reds), and that was on display tonight. I don’t think that many expected a honked wanger or anything, but he’s plenty capable with the bat in his hands in that situation. He may never be better than those in front of him to get starts more than 2 or 3 times a week, but he’s definitely a part of the next good Reds team. And he showed it tonight.

Honorable mention to Luis Castillo, who ended up with an earned run on his ledger, but allowed only 6 hits on the night, coupled with 6 K in 6.2 IP. It was a fantastic bounce back from his melt down the last time out. Scott Schebler doinked a donk on the first pitch for the Reds, which stood up as the only run for a long time. He hit again and walked. Scooter Gennett hit twice and walked and scored a run, while Eugenio Suarez hit and walked and scored a run. I buried Adam Duvall a bit here, and while he was only credited with one hit, he also managed the ball-in-play that began the chaos in the 8th after coming in as a replacement in the 7th. Raisel Iglesias is incredible, as usual.

Key Plays

  • Scott Schebler wasted no time jumping all over a James Shield fastball right down th middle of the hitting zone. He took the first pitch and delivered it into the seats. Tucker Barnhart and Joey Votto flied out and struck out, respectively, before Scooter Gennett singled himself on. Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker walked and walked to load the bases, but unfortunately and somewhat surprisingly considering the last several games, Jose Peraza couldn’t do anything with it. Reds up after 1 full inning, 1-0.
  • Loveland, OH native Adam Engel produced a 1-out single for the Sox. He was bunted over by Shields. Luis Castillo was then replaced by Amir Garrett to face the switch hitting Yoan Moncada (presumably because he’d have to bat from his worse side). Moncada looped a double down the left field line to score Engel. Yolmer Sanchez then laced a single that lanced off the glove of Suarez, which allowed Moncada to score. Amir was lifted for Hughes, who ended the inning with a K. Still, the Sox do some 2-out hitting to take the lead, 2-1.
  • Avisail Garcia smacked a dinger to RF off Jared Hughes in the 8th. ChiSox get one more, 3-1.
  • Mayhem ensued in the 8th. Scooter singled to lead off the inning. Suarez doubled to put runners at 2B and 3B with no outs. Brandon Dixon struck out for the first out of the inning before Peraza walk. Some hell broke loose then. Adam Duvall bounced into a fielder’s choice at 1B. Problem with that was, basically, Matt Davidson didn’t get any of the choices. He scooped and ran to 1B and acted like he was stepping on 1B and then fired home to get the double play. Problem was, he didn’t step on 1B, and Scooter Gennett beat the tag at home. After review, nobody was out, and the Reds get the run. Billy Hamilton then sent a ball into CF that was caught. Eugenio tagged on the play and scored because the throw was cut off trying to tag Peraza out at 3B. Peraza was called safe, the White Sox reviewed again and, again, got no outs on the play. The Reds tied the game. Alex Blandino came to the plate and looped a double to just this side of the RF line, scoring Peraza and Duvall. Barnhart walked, Votto struck out to end the frame, but the Reds take the damn lead in the 8th, 5-3.
  • Raisel Iglesias shut the damn thing down in the 9th and this one? Well, it belongs to the Reds, 5-3.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • The Reds left the bases loaded in the bottom of the first. That, in and of itself, seems newsworthy. Though I suppose asking Jose Peraza to slam in two straight games, given his overall profile as a hitter, might be asking a bit much.
  • They did it again in the 7th with Joey Votto at the plate, down a run this time. Ugh.
  • We should probably talk about Amir Garrett for a second. The first run he allowed wasn’t his, but the second one was. He left the game without recording, which brings his June/July ledger to 10.2 IP with 7 ER. That’s a 6.18 ERA and will very obviously not get the job done. He’s been very, very good prior to this on the season, and even in the last couple of appearances, you could probably give a little bit of nod to the ball he took off the leg just last week. But still, he doesn’t seem to be particularly right right now. And that’s a super drag.
  • Hunter Greene was throwing pure filth tonight. 2 singles was all he allowed, to go with 10 K on just 69 pitches in 7 innings. Yowzers.
  • The Reds will line it up again with the White Sox tomorrow at the usual 7:10 PM EDT start time. Lucas Giolito will square off with Anthony DeSclafani in the pitching matchup.
  • Tunes.